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Old 10-15-2006, 06:55 AM   #1679
Spiwak
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Spoilers ahead, but I don't feel like making one big giant spoiler blurb so just don't read this post if you plan on seeing it.

I don't really think it's fair to compare a remake to its original, just as it isn't fair to compare a movie to its original book form if the screenplay was adapted. In both cases the director/writer reimagine the original material in their own way and thus I think it's more respectful to treat the new vision on its own merits.

I do see what you're saying with the love triangle and the ending. For the triangle, I too thought it tested the boundaries of reality a little bit, but in the context of this story I thought it made perfect sense. The two men could just have easily become the same person if their childhoods had played out differently--the are essentially mirror images of each other, with Farmiga split down the middle by said mirror (if that makes any sense). As for the end, I thought it was going to end at that Third Man moment when Farmiga walks past Damon without acknowledging him, which would have been just as perfect as the real end. For me both men had to suffer, they were both destined to suffer if one was. I think it would have been cheap if Damon had simply "gotten away" with it, because then that would make him a perfect example of the Socratetian perfectly unjust man feeding his beast and lion and enfeebling his man with no consequence to offset it; it's an incomplete character (and one that doesn't exist), which might work in children's movies and action movies but I would have been pissed if Damon didn't learn his lesson. So with that in mind I thought the Third Man ending could have worked because it implied his life was hollow after that, but his death makes more sense to me because it was how DiCaprio also died, and also in a very similar way (opening elevator, opening hotel door). I'm perfectly fine with how it ended.

Terrabin--I agree with you in that the film does have excellent writing and that it might be the "main attraction" so to say, but as I said earlier I don't think that's all there is. The technical aspects of it are also topnotch, from the photography (little things like how Nicholson's face was covered in shadows the for pretty much the entire opening, for instance), to the editing (frenetic but still rhythmic, perfectly balancing the two protagonists), to the sound (musical interludes, interruptions, cell phones). I didn't think it was empty at all. Movies don't really need social commentary to be deep but even so it showed how in one way or another both the police and the underworld are corrupt. Also, I didn't find it lacking emotion at all, considering how complex both Damon and DiCaprio's characters were and their relationships with the Farmiga character. I don't like comparing this movie to Scorsese's masterpieces because it again doesn't seem fair; it's a considerable improvement over his recent movies and that in itself is something to congratulate, I say. But I probably can't convince you to see the movie in a way that disagrees with your sensibilities, so I'll just let it rest that I found more to like in the movie than you did, I suppose. Even though I disagree with you, your reply was very eloquent and that's cool.
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