Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reasons to see "A History of Violence"

In no particular order:

1) its based on a good little graphic novel

2) as Norm says, it has Maria Bello and Ed Harris in it (for some, the draw my be Viggo Mortensen: I don't get that myself, I prefer the acting qualities)

3) it is actually rather violent but any 'pleasure' the audience might take from the violence soon gets undercut. There is a good review in Sight and Sound which HAS SPOILERS (the link is here), but I'd also urge anyone interested to read the article by Graham Fuller from the same edition of S&S that is unfortunately not available online. The film is not quite what it seems, and its ending rather reminds me of the final song from the musical Buffy episode: "Where do we go from here?" What happens when violence becomes the means to end/escape violence and its history?

Thought provoking stuff.


Martin said...

I saw HoV on Friday and was a little disappointed to be honest. I felt the dialogue and script showed their graphic novel origins in their clunkiness and the violence in its clinicality. There was little suspense a nothing that I would call a twist in the storyline. Admittedly my viewing was spoilt by a multiplex audience who laughed at the sight of a naked body (put some carpet on those stairs!)but if Cronenburg is going to make "mainstream" movies he needs to be more specific in his purpose and application.Or something.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

I agree the 'plot twist' isn't really (as the article/review say, it can really only go one of two ways). But I do think there are more nuances there then may be first thought of: is that over-intellectualising something 'mainstream'? I don't think so; and you're right about the audience. That can kill a film...

Martin said...

Another thought. The film supposedly asks us questions about violence but apart from wondering how the re-united family dealt with the consequences I thought the various levels of self-deception were more interesting. The suppression of the violent tendencies was one aspect of this. I've time for DC but still feel hisw ork isn't maturing at the rate it should.