|It's beard land!|
The writing is all over the place. Even though the actors perform well, the characterizations of their roles are either misguided, unclear or confused. Here are some examples; Kristofferson's character goes through a series of flip-flops and its not just about the main plot. Bridges' character seems to have no motivation other than to faithfully follow Averill blindly. He just hops on the bandwagon. John Hurt's character opposes the government officials’ plan, yet later on is spectating the whole set of events. Also he's drunk half the time saying, silly things about Paris. Then there's the main girl named Ella (Isabelle Huppert) who Averill and Champion both love. And I'm sure most viewers know how that turns out since it's a love triangle. It's because of this that the screenplay makes these characters not extremely likable. Again, they were well performed but the charm is barely there.
On top of that, the direction is very, very slow. Long running time films are not a problem if they are tightly woven and the story has substance. Gettysburg (1993) by Ronald F. Maxwell is one of those films and mind you, that it's even longer than this movie. Sadly, the way the story of this conflict plays out, could've been condensed into a much shorter running time, if the story was going to move at such sluggish pace. The assumption behind all the time wasted, was that there are numerous scenes where either nothing is being said or done that has doesn’t have any relevance, or the scene may just contain what looks like background shots of everyday life of that particular time. Of course, viewers want to get an idea of what life was like back in that time but it doesn't need to drag on and on and on.
Adding to that "never ending" feeling are the actors who play the immigrants. The fact that they are playing immigrants isn’t the problem because they too act very well. Viewers may have problems with the fact that subtitles aren't used. Just watching a bunch of people arguing and speaking gibberish to most is boring and uninteresting. If you don't know the language, would watching a movie spoken entirely without subtitles entertain? Probably not. And to sit through that for almost four hours is really pushing people's patience. Having immigrants speak their native language is realistic yes, but to watch it give no purpose to the plot is flat out silly. The only thing that helps it bring it to a bearable status is the production value.
|Look at that cinematography!|
The grandiose production value and talented cast is its strongest asset. Sadly its not enough because everything gets squandered from slow pacing and an under whelming script that fails to develop its characters properly.
Points Earned --> 4:10