Monday, 24 January 2011

In the Electric Mist


Well where to start with this one? Perhaps with an acknowledgement that in the US this film went straight to disc! If you are a fan of Tommy Lee Jones playing a grumpy old man, or the lovely Kelly MacDonald doing another totally convincing American accent, then this could be a film for you.

What this film is actually about is hard to tie down. At times it's a crime/drama thriller at other times it's a fantasy/historical cross-over. The problem is that as this film meanders through multiple story threads and ends in a frayed tassel rather than a tight knot. If you like closure, then this film will only have limited appeal. On the other hand, if you want to watch a film that leaves you with more questions than answers, this is the film for you! It's also a an example of excessive product placement (GMC and Dr Pepper).

Jones gives a trademark performance which perfectly reflects the dreary pace of life in rural Louisiana. As a recovering Alcoholic he has a sympathetic disposition to others' afflicted with this illness. The film flips between today, the 1960's and the American Civil War. In addition to alcoholism, other themes embraced are racism, Mafia-mob activity and prostitution. All that said, the centre piece remains the character played by Jones - Police Lt Dave Robicheaux.

As a study in small-town post Katrina Louisiana, this is an excellent film. There are many strong performances and the Blu-ray disc I watched delivered an exceptional visual feast. Overall I'd say this film will repay the investment of watching it. It's not a classic, but it is interesting and solid cinema. If you get the chance to see it, take it.

I'll give it 6/10.

6 comments:

Bernardo - Nutricionistas said...

I thought it was a slow film, soda, without the slightest care. From the beginning we show the plot of a slow and with too many names that occur in the viewer a tremendous confusion that we lose the thread constantly.
With characters that we have stuck with a shoehorn, forced. We did not empathize with them at any time. Not to mention their empty and bland dialogue that at times seemed like a laugh and no apparent sense (do not add anything to the tape).

Toru Matsuoka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toru Matsuoka said...

Bernardo touched on something, it does seem like it's made with little care. Small things constantly stand out , like a popular movie star signing a film poster that looks like a freshly printed DVD Cover from Full Moon Productions.
Or Tommy Lee Jones planting a gun on an unarmed man and in the process covering the pistol with his grubby fingerprints.
He's a Dirty Harry styled cop who can scan a crime scene and figure out how tightly the corpse tied his boots, you'd think he'd be wary of putting his ID all over the weapon.
These may sound picky, but this movie is full of such moments, it feels cheap. I respect Tavernier, I just feel he could have tried harder. Considering he's such a film fan/historian.

Duncan Strathie said...

Thanks Toru - yes a disappointing film, but one which continues to attract visits to my review! To date the review has been viewed 1251 times in all, 55 times in the past month. I struggle to see why it is relatively popular.

Les Letains said...

so who killed the girls and why ???

Unknown said...

The General's ghost did! There was a lot of time travel happening and half-way, they pulled a Donnie Darko in which the bullets from the past were killing everyone in the present. :)

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