Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Clearing (2004)

Don't clear your calendar for this one...

Genre: Crime Drama Thriller (USA, Germany)

Starring: Robert Redford (The Horse Whisperer; Out Of Africa), Helen Mirren (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; 2010)

Directed By: Pieter Jan Brugge

Overview: While a victim of a kidnapping deals with his captor, his wife works with the FBI to get her husband back.

Acting: The names are huge. Redford, Defoe, Mirren, they're all veterans. Mirren does a good strong housewife not trying to lose her cool, Redford also plays a good calm role, and Defoe plays his kidnapper role well too. Perhaps it would have been nice to see less middle aged coping, and a bit more freaking out... For these people to be calm as Hindu cows throughout a kidnapping ordeal...I wanted more.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: The movie inspired nothing. No great cinematic effects, no interesting angles or scenery, just a plain old regular story unfolding. It was professional Hollywood, but sans artistic originality...
Rating: 6

Script: The writing was good, especially with the Defoe and Redford characters, and the little spat that Mirren has with that woman from Redford's past, but overall, standard fare. Good, but not great, nothing to walk away with.
Rating: 7

Plot: The story unfolds predictably enough, but half way through I was starting to wonder why days had gone by for the wife and they're still walking around the woods in the daytime, as though it was the first day out for the kidnapper and his victim. It took a while for me to realize they were working on different timelines. By the time I clued in the movie was coming to a close and the ending was pretty lame, especially the denouement. I curled my nose at those last few scenes in disappointment.
Rating: 5

Mood: The style was "calm on the surface, unseen roiling waters beneath". The score was appropriate enough, but after all was said and done, I was waiting for this grand drama to unfold. Even those two dramatic scenes near the end were relatively bland in their display. After all is said and done, it didn't excite me.
Rating: 5

Robert Redford's character drifts along with a zen-class calm

Overall Rating: 60% (Not Too Captivating)

Aftertaste: One of those "I have a couple hours to kill" moments and I saw this at the Blockbuster a couple times. Turned on the Movies on Demand and said, "What the Hell?" No it wasn't terrible, but don't bother unless you're die hard fans of one of these actors. Easily forgotten.