Saturday, July 02, 2005

Alexandra's Project (2003)

"Today at school, I'm going to show you how I tormented my husband, thank you."

Genre: Drama Thriller (Australia)

Starring: Gary Sweet, Helen Buday

Directed By: Rolf de Heer

Overview: A man comes home awaiting his surprise birthday party, but finds instead his wife has left him a tape to play as a present, and she's been an unhappy woman...

Acting: The acting was fairly decent. It must be difficult playing a role where most of your part is sitting in a chair watching a videotape. The wife's role was convincing enough and the kids looked natural in their parts.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: The problem I had with this is the style they chose to use: tight cropping and that dark room for most of the movie. This is an Australian film, and though it's obviously low budget, I have to remind myself that Hollywood isn't necessarily the authority on cinematography. Maybe they've corrupted me a little, but I still like shots with the person's entire head in it, less claustrophobic. The tight shots on the remote control or on the TV were effective little pauses, but I would have had more panning, more dynamic scenes instead of just, "This is her on the tape", "this is him watching the tape".
Rating: 5

Script: The script was fine, but as we progress into the film, the idea is that we're supposed to feel bad for the husband, which we do, but I think that making us feel for the wife would have been good too. I found myself hating her and her preachy speeches. On occasion I found the script unpolished, thinking that I could easily have made some of the lines better. There ARE synonyms for 'body'!
Rating: 6

Plot: The plot starts well. It's the birthday of the main character, obviously the wife is distraught and planning a bit of a vengeance plot, and the story unfolds fairly well. But then the climax and denouement threw the entire realism of the plot out the window. The suspension of disbelief was too much. There was justice to be had and it wasn't sought after. Without ruining it for you, I'll just say that this is the greatest problem faced by this sort of movie. Put more effort in dealing with the consequence of your actions, rather than making the character who's suffering go against their instincts and accept their fate. The ending was absolutely stupid and ruined the entire film.
Rating: 3

Mood: I don't believe that the camerawork was intended to set the mood, an air of claustrophobia. I was even a little distracted by it, so sadly that took away from it. There were a few symbolic moments thrown in to enhance the mood and the score was non-existent, which heightened the realism of the whole movie, but overall I found this lacking.
Rating: 5

"I'm all for humping in weird places but in front of the whole class?"

Overall Rating: 52% (This Project Should Have Been Planned Better...)

Aftertaste: This was another free movie that I was curious in watching, I'd heard very little about it. As I watched it, I thought this was an interesting premise, and that Alexandra was really getting her point across, but she went too far. Instead of feeling for her plight, I felt that any sane person willing to go this far would have brought up the topic months or even years ago. Instead she acts in a completely psychotic manner, and I grew to hate her for her lack of strength... Burning your bridges isn't strong, it's cowardly. This movie wasn't as bad as the rating I gave it, but the ending fell completely apart, as did my empathy to this woman.