Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Inherent Vice ★★★1/2

    Of all the recent Hollywood productions bestowed upon us, (in a time of season that is somewhat equivalent to every moviegoer's Christmas) "Inherent Vice" is one that will logically be neglected, and rightfully so. It is certainly not a film for the casual audience, and I'm not quite convinced that it can be deemed worthy of acknowledgement by even the most perceptive individuals, considering its overemphasis on dialogue and a plot that is, let's face it, eccentrically muddled.

    Quite frankly, however, the story makes little difference here. Any attempt to weave a coherent narrative out of subject matter such as: Nazis, dishonest FBI officers, Indo-Chinese heroin cartels, communism, cocaine-fueled dentist practices, kidnapping cults, Aryan Brotherhoods, Last Supper pizza parties, and the Bermuda Triangle, would be nearly impractical as it is, yet that is its intention--albeit--in a satirical fashion, which mostly takes shots at law enforcement and the discrimination against the legality of marijuana.

    Larry "Doc" Sportello, a man whose surrounding environment of the fictional town of Gordita Beach, California, serves as a pure reflection of character, is an idiosyncratic private investigator and chain smoking doper. (The latter we are told come from the planet of Neptune, which would surely explain the alien treatment.) He is quirky in attitude and demeanor and gains his clients through the referrals of the local head shops.

    Although, his personality can best be summarized by way of a subtle cinematography technique, which in this particular instance, is the utilization of soft, or blurred, focus. In a relatively standard introductory scene for a crime drama (epitomized by that of "Chinatown"), Sportello is left in this obscured attention, while he converses with his newest client, from the point of his office settings (which would be his small beach house living room), until he makes his way into the kitchen to open the refrigerator door, in order to retrieve a beer.

    Then, and only then, does he come back into focus, and more importantly, back into consciousness.

    Joaquin Phoenix, who very much resembles a mixture of Marvel's popular action mutant in Wolverine, and a 1970s John Lennon in appearance, was made for this role, partly because it accommodates the interpretive nature of his acting personality. He is very methodical in his approach to this character, yet in a seemingly phlegmatic, and rather dull-witted fashion. (This leads to low-toned mumblings and inaudible phrases at times, when Doc waits for his mind to catch up with his vocal cords.)    
   Phoenix's chemistry with the supporting cast is arguably the most vital aspect of the film itself, and it cannot hurt that such performances become honorable in their own right. Katherine Waterston is simply magnificent as Shasta Fay Hepworth, a former lover of Sportello and constitute of the central story line. Waterston is a relatively unknown actress, although I am sure that she will be hard to forget after such a sexually driven performance. (Best encapsulated by a scene in which Shasta and Doc succumb to their sensual vulnerabilities.)

    Other notable personas include those played by Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson, yet none more integral than that of Josh Brolin, who dons the persona of an LAPD lieutenant. Brolin is equally as odd in manner, and it is this improbable relationship with our resident protagonist that fuels many brilliant and mildly amusing scenes. 

    It is quite obvious as to which realm "Inherent Vice's" theme rests, and that is in its impeccable display of character. (Although there is a hint of an emotional mood of a sexual influence, brought about by many scenes, and one bizarre motif in which we awkwardly watch as Brolin gags himself with a chocolate covered banana.) 

     Additionally, however, it is also unmistakable as to its inner miscalculations. We begin the picture with an image of an attractive woman, both in voice and appearance, whose voice-overs subsequently become utilized to provide background information, and character biographies, through a poetic, yet modern tone. Even though we can ascertain that it is actually the subconscious of Doc, in physical form, it only adds, rather unnecessarily, to the befuddlement of an already outlandish atmosphere.  

    What Paul Thomas Anderson has accomplished here is a creation that is completely driven by the hipster counter-culture, the participants of which try their damnedest to mimic the unforgettable style and flair of a more peaceful time in the world. It will undoubtedly become a cult classic and will most likely be relished for its zany mentality and permeating drug use. 

    On more of a professional note, I could not help but to notice the Academy Award nomination that this film has received for Best Costume Design. Have we lost all sense of acuity? Sure, the wardrobes presented are on par with any period piece, both in impression and authenticity, but how hard could it have been to find an appropriate look for this decade at hand? Are we awarding a few trips to the second-hand store here? It only goes to show how far we have strayed from the glamorous age of costume supremacy. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Into the Woods ★★1/2

    It would be quite discourteous of me, and somewhat unethical (with regard to my obligations to the public), if I did not give my opinion of this film outright: Disney's "Into the Woods" is a failed attempt to once again bombard audiences with a sense of moral implication while essentially presenting a mishmash of aged fairy tales to accommodate a bland narrative of its own. Although its length is warranted considering its intentions, by the end of the viewing, I could not help but pine for a "happily ever after" endingthe kind in which Disney had built their foundation.

    With a picture so dependent on its ensemble cast, there is little to boast about here, except, of course, for the fact that their execution in song is on par with what is necessitated by the medium. (It is borderline insufferable to view a musical with a poor representation in this field, which undoubtedly leads to the belching out of notes to a nonexistent back row and to the compromising of the genre's subtle nature.)

    We drudge along as each character sings their tune of internal conflict, which is approximately the only exhibition of characterization at hand. They want, they need, they desireall in an effort to build up the theme of the taleand even though most of the aspirations are relative (the wishing of a family, the essential need to be loved for who you truly are, etc.), it seems forced more so than anything else.

    This is surely not to mention the fact that each song is entirely banal, much like the film itself, and when it actually does break the mold, it is in an utterly ridiculous fashion. (This is in reference to the agony infused number sung by the two princes. You know, the one in which they splash around a stream and expose their bare chests for seemingly no reason.)

    The shining star of the production is Meryl Streep along with the accompanying handiwork of the makeup crew. Streep, whose beauty has progressed gracefully over her highly prestigious career, is as elegant as I've ever seen her, and she never relents in vitality. She is menacing in stature, yet empathetic when she needs to be, and Streep never loses control over several scenes where plausibility becomes suspect. Naturally, one would expect her presence to stand above the rest, but it would seem that her charisma only highlights the lack thereof when it comes to the overall spirit of the film.   

    However, it would seem that the most prominent deficiency in "Into the Woods" is the setting. The "woods," which we are told is an inevitable destination no matter what errand one may be running, fulfills its purpose as the determiner of character, which, consequently, compromises the film entirely. I mean, think about it. If the unadulterated persuasion of the forest is to blame for our characters' actions, then where is the validity? It transforms our resident personalities into pawns of sorts in hopes of (can you guess?) providing us with a moral suggestion.

    So, what is it exactly that Disney is trying to convey? What message are they attempting to weave, which would make themin the famous words of Percy Shelley (with regard to artists)"the unacknowledged legislators of the world?"

    Conveyances of knowledge (and aspects of humanity) such as selfishness, desire, self-indecision, guilt, loss, gain, and most notably, egoism, permeate the picture. These ideas are combated with the optimism of utilitarian thoughts and collaboration. We are even blatantly prescribed the sentimental fallacy that "no one is alone." Although it is an admirable attempt by Disney to bestow such lessons upon its audiences, this formula becomes easily tiresome, and it simply makes one yearn for their golden years, where imagination superseded personal belief.

    And the reason for this motivational broadcast is entirely evident: The film industry has one of the largest followings of all. Which brings up another issuebranding. Back in the 1940s and 50s, studios exploited successful pairings of actors and directors to increase their revenue. Disney utilizes its image to not only flourish financially but to relay its institutional opinions. We love every product they produce because of the name above it. Nevertheless, we have to be able to see through this manipulation so that we may view the outcome in an objective light, and in this particular instance, it is simply prosaic.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Exodus: Gods and Kings ★★1/2

    Ridley Scott's "Exodus: Gods and Kings," a film whose subject matter has been beaten to death over the course of cinema history, provides nothing remotely fresh to the story of Moses, and seems intent on fashioning a Hollywood blockbuster around a box-office star in Christian Bale, than anything else. One look at the trailer, and you may have just seen the sum of the picture's aim for yourself.

    As one might expect, the narrative is relatively consistent with that of the Old Testament, except, of course, a minuscule alteration here and there. (For example, instead of God speaking directly to Moses, it is a young boy, who Moses later deems as a "messenger.")

    The Egyptian royalty becomes aware of Moses' heritage, and he is therefore banned from the kingdom. Eventually, there is enlightenment, and redemption, all of which leads to a rather pedestrian climax, where the just triumphs over the malevolent. Naturally, this is the theme of every Bible tale (along with that of salvation), however, "Exodus" does very little to expand such notions, and opts instead, to simply tell an already repetitive account of Christian lore.

    Scott, a director who surely knows the intricacies of quality film-making, provides adequate direction and indulges in numerous techniques to ensure success from each element of the production. High camera angles are sufficiently utilized, to not only diminish the importance of figures such as Ramses, but to give us an objective, and nearly scientific, examination of a constantly re-building Egypt.

    Natural lighting is employed to do what it does best, and that is to provide a genuine atmosphere, for a picture that relies on plausibility without exception. Action scenes, although uneventful, and far and few between, are acutely fashioned with several director's interpretive points of view, including the viewpoint of a carriage driver, as the vehicle is thrust into the air, and the utilization of slow motion, to intensify the moment at hand.

     Despite the favorable outcome of such tactics, however, most of the film is hampered by the overbearing presence of computer generated imaging, which much like the plague in which it is used to depict, becomes nothing more than a tiresome display of repetitiveness.(Instead of delving into the proclivities of God or any intellectual thought rich in introspection, we are bombarded with a half hour exhibition of killer crocodiles and insects.)

    In order to overcome the dreariness of yet another big budget picture, with little to offer besides essentially a re-telling of a set of events, there must be a strong outing from our primary actor. Bale, one of the finest impersonating actors left in Hollywood, once again sheds his personality, in order to don that of a historical figure in Moses. Although Bale does show glimpses of brilliance, in an exceptionally difficult role, it is not enough to prevail over the shortcomings of the film as a whole. 

    One of the most important aspects--when portraying a prominent figure--is to not upset our preconceived beliefs as to how that character will act, and maybe even more vital, as to how that individual appears. Bale certainly exceeds in each of these facets and does his best to give this persona a sense of humanness and a chance to relate to a father in the modern world. 

    Above all, however, it would seem that Bale is quite vulnerable in this performance (not to say that all actors do not have an air of vulnerability, considering they are vulnerable creatures by nature), and this is what makes it so compelling. His conversations with God (or God's messenger if you will) are certainly the chief dialogue in the picture, yet they come off as inadequate, considering we have no earthly idea as to the deliberateness of the actions in discussion. 

    The issue with "Exodus: Gods and Kings," along with every other film that touches on the subject of God, is one that can be attributed to reality, and the philosophical complication that has troubled some of the most brilliant minds on record. We are to believe that this entity is omnibenevolent, yet it would seem as if his actions were nothing short of vengeful. (Case in point: many innocent lives, namely children, are taken for the actions of an arrogant king.) Until some ample explanations are given, these pictures will only slip further into a realm of obscurity. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Home on the Range ★

    There is something definably overpowering in Disney's 2004 animated film entitled "Home on the Range." If you have ever seen the sitcom, aptly named, "Roseanne," then you surely can recall the coarse, and utterly domineering voice of its leading actress, Roseanne Barr, whose vocalization is an ill-mannered concoction of an opera singer, and a garbage disposal.

    Although this is not the sole inadequacy to grace our presence, I could not help but to fixate on this error of judgment, which consistently places this film in a position of failure. Unlike Tim Allen, whose voice acting is quite compatible with the animated persona of Buzz Lightyear, Barr can never thrive in the realm of sincerity, and her performance is essentially a depiction of what she was compensated to do: read from a script, while being recorded.

    Despite this unflattering shortcoming, "Home on the Range" discovers other, rather precarious ways, to ensure that it will never be locked in the Disney vault, so that someday, it could be re-released in an effort to expose a new generation of children to the magic, and amusement, of a quality picture. A lackluster story, along with an uninspired display of hand drawn animation, helps to appoint this classic as--forgettable.

   Maggie, a robust and spirited dairy cow, is begrudgingly sold to a humble farm (fittingly called: Patch of Heaven), after her owner was completely ransacked of all his steer, which subsequently, forced him to shut down his ranch. After the expected introductions, in which Maggie rouses her new companions, a Sheriff stops by to issue a debt collection for $750.

   Instead of limiting the antagonist role to that of bank collectors (they have been scrutinized enough, haven't they?), we learn of an evildoer, Alameda Slim, whose ransom is (can you guess?) exactly $750. Accordingly, Maggie and her patrons shove off into the unknown, as they will attempt to save their home, and restore justice to the Wild West.                      

   It is certainly true that the West is always a fascinating setting for any picture; even the simplest of Westerns have a symbolic conflict (mostly good versus evil or law versus lawlessness), accompanied by picturesque landscapes and memorable characterizations. "Home on the Range" has none of these qualities, unless, of course, you find a yodeling crazed outlaw as charming as Disney apparently does.

   Even the heroes of the film are tedious and do not have enough personality to engage us. I mean, they're cows. Buck, a side character who comes in the form of an erratic and brazen horse, is as appealing as any lone individual here. (There is a point in the film where Buck's arrogance and confidence are sorely dashed, and it requires him to tackle the same exact complication, in order to restore his dignity.) A storyline centered on Buck would have at least been more amusing.

   As understandable as it may be--that every production is not going to represent your finest work--when products of this stature are created, there has to be some level of accountability present. Of course, there are fellow critics who find solace in just about anything, as proved by Leonard Maltin, who wrote, "Good fun for the whole family," with regard to this picture. Only if you find cows to be an idolizing figure, or of any interest, would you find any joy in this dreadful excuse for seventy-six minutes.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ★★1/2

    For what it's worth, the latest installment in the "Hunger Games" series of films has become nothing more than an exhibition for political thought and conviction. For, that is essentially what is being debated here: Rebels fight for democracyand the elitists struggle to maintain totalitarian (or if you prefer the term fascist) control over a population of individuals deprived of all financial value. Does this premise ring any bells?

    The plot, in its most primitive design, can be described simply as a string of "moves and counter-moves," a phrase used by the apathetic antagonist in President Snow. There is even the presence of promos, which are utilized to inspire both movements and to remind us, maybe even unknowingly, of the upcoming presidential election in 2016. (All that was lacking from each production was the "approved by" message, in case we were already devoid of that knowledge.)

    What "Mockingjay-Part 1" strives to do wellit does soyet in such a way that compromises the film as a whole. Stock characters are employed to do, well, obvious tasks, such as pointing out this piece of blatant information or that one, and they merely fill in the audience as to what is going on. Furthermore, a feline becomes the initiator of an intrinsic metaphor (the meaning of which is revealed by our heroine seconds later) and a plot device, and it is essentially used to create an unwarranted dramatic effect. (Nevertheless, it does rank as one of the most suspenseful instances in the entire picture.)

    Most telling, however, is the cinematography whose sole intention, evidently, is to capture the numerous looks of sorrow and uncertainty on the face of our leading actress. The camera remains static at times, when it shouldn't, and it neglects even the most elementary goals of cinematographic composition. (I guess the filmmaker believes that Katniss is the object of greatest dramatic significance in every frame, even if her only motion is that of a blinking eye.) This provides Jennifer Lawrence with the opportunity to showcase her facial acting skills and the complexities associated with her reaction shots, which are all very homologous in nature.

    Looking back, I was somewhat critical of Lawrence's performance in "Catching Fire," (at the time, I would have described her as an amalgam of Luke Skywalker and Mae West) yet her performance in this film is more than sufficient. The glam days, in which Katniss is primped and groomed to perfection, are over, and we are introduced to a color palette of darker tones or what can be best described as simply gray or black.

    This role, above all, requires a sense of naturalness, and Lawrence excels in this department. She is supremely talented when it comes to manipulating her facial features to looks of agony and extreme torment, even if the script calls for these qualities a little too often. (In fact, these skills are so noticeable because she is forced into a position that justifies them time after time.) Scenes that warrant a sense of warmth, however, are also well-crafted, and the most notable of these involve conversations with her sister, Prim, where Katniss exclaims, "we should do this more often," a sentiment also held by yours truly.

    Of all the existing positives, the addition of Julianne Moore, to what seems to be a stagnant cast at times, is the most noteworthy. Moore brings a definable elegance to the production, and although she steals screen time from Donald Sutherland, the strength of her veteran personality is direly needed. Woody Harrelson is hardly memorable as his one-dimensional character takes a backseat to our leading lady (much like everyone else) and as his, already diminutive, dialogue is further reduced.

    The appearance of Philip Seymour Hoffman is bittersweet; nevertheless, wonderfully engaging. I have never seen a poor outing from him, and this notion remains true even after this showing. It is exceedingly important for the viewer to under no circumstances visually see the actor, in fact, acting. In a sense, one must not see the "wheels in motion." Hoffman exudes this authenticity more than most, and he will be sorely missed in Hollywood.

    As I was leaving the screening, I could not help but wonder as to what force this genre of films and novels will hold in the future. It seems that every year a new series, consisting of a futuristic and rather dystopian world, hits the shelves and empties the pockets of millions of teenagers. My guess is, that in twenty years, the likes of the "Hunger Games" and "Divergent" will be far from our minds. After all, the target audience will be grown, and I'm sure adolescents will have a new craze to indulge in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jersey Boys ★★

    Clint Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" is a poor (and tedious I might add) imitation of Martin Scorsese's picture entitled "Goodfellas." There are an innumerable amount of resemblances that will jump off the screen and subdue you into an indefatigable state of déjà vu. Perhaps Mr. Eastwood has become a victim of his own subconscious.

    No matter how the result was executed--it was--and "Jersey Boys" essentially depicts the rise, and the subsequent fall, of the very popular 1960s foursome, aptly named, The Four Seasons. If you are direly interested in how the band obtained its name, or how Frankie Vally actually became Frankie "Valli," then you are surely old enough to remember the music that accompanied these personas, and hopefully you have seen enough motion pictures to realize why this portrayal is defective.

    We are roped into this dreary tale by a breaking of the "fourth wall'' via Tommy DeVito, whose projection of character rivals that of Robert De Niro, in the previously mentioned and seemingly often referenced material, and whose name mimics that of another "Goodfellas" personality played by the extremely talented Joe Pesci--an individual who also finds his way in the film as a middle man to the obtaining of the group's fourth member and ultimate success. (The man, not the actor.)

    With all similarities aside, however, there are two notable facets of the picture that fail invariably. Conflict, the mainspring of any plot driven theme worthy of the designation of enjoyable, is relatively absent, albeit, for the complications present in every music group's road to stardom which can be found in a "Behind the Music" documentary. (If you are unacquainted with these stumbling blocks, they include debt, betrayal, and surprisingly irrelevant here, substance abuse.) Frankie attempts to juggle his personal life with that of the band, neither of which is calculated efficiently enough.

    John Lloyd Young, in his first role bearing any significance, certainly fits the physical requirements of a small and level-headed young man from New Jersey with a voice that almost emulates that of Valli. The issue here is that this is the only ability provided by Young, as he obviously took the outside approach to his subject matter, and he never quite succeeds in prying open the soul of a beloved lead singer, which is one of the foremost attractions of the film itself. We hear the lyrics of classic tunes, such as "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry," but we are ultimately left at an emotional distance from the man behind the voice.

    Let's be honest here: Clint Eastwood, much like every other living and breathing mammal on this Earth, has one definable enemy, and that is time. It is my conviction that Eastwood, a remarkable director to date, was intent on creating a picture here which displayed a portion of his passion for music instead of producing a viable product. Although it is true that every artist, no matter the medium, creates their artwork from the heart, this concept is not always valued in film-making. In spite of this, however, if there were anyone worthy enough of divulging into their personal fascinations for inspiration, it would be Eastwood. Every great director deserves at least one.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ★★★


    It has been a long journey, in the realm of Middle-earth, and one that seemed to begin only yesterday, as Frodo and Sam marched out of The Shire, in hopes to restore tranquility to the spectacular lands that comprise this fictional haven of imagination. Over this span of a little more than a decade, Peter Jackson has not only become a household name, but he has earned respect worldwide for his interpretation of some of the finest, and most influential, literature to ever be written.

    Yet, in the latest installment, Jackson's focus seems somewhat misguided, as the cinematic concern of moral implication (which is arguably the original thematic intention of Tolkien, himself) is thrown into the spotlight, and loose ties never seem to be quite resolved.

    "The Battle of the Five Armies" picks up exactly where the last film ended (shot in a blissful forty-eight frames per second), with Lake Town under siege, and Thorin sliding ever so quickly into a state of madness, due to his obsession with everything that glitters. The throne of Erebor has returned to the king of the Dwarves, and with this comes egoism, envy, and inevitably, war. (Hence the name of the picture, itself.)

    As far as the direction is concerned, Jackson hits his mark every time. The director's interpretive cinematic points of view are exquisitely fashioned, and never fail in lending the utmost dramatic intensity to every scene in which they are found. The zoom lens is utilized with the most precise care, and if Jackson has a specialty, it is indisputably the use of the gyrospheric shot, as the remarkable panning of landscapes and wandering figures once again finds its way into a Tolkien themed picture.

    The composition of the cinematography is adequate enough and is best encapsulated by a wonderful utilization of foreground framing, in which Thorin and Bard discuss promises through the gates of Erebor. The presence of symbolism and visual metaphors are abundant in nature, and accentuate the film splendidly.

    Greed is an idea expressed throughout the duration of the picture, with the technique of repetition, fueling the articulation. Likewise, the symbolism of love is brought to our attention, through an elegant display of musical emphasis, which can be heard as Tauriel and Kili pronounce their feelings for one another. Additionally, there is the Arkenstone, whose symbolic value is obtained through its importance to the structure as a whole, along with the emphasis placed on it by Thorin. Intrinsic metaphors are used impeccably, as we are vividly shown Thorin's descent into avarice, and the significance of family, to the secondary character of Bard.

    Richard Armitage remains as the centerpiece of a very talented cast, (especially of the dwarves, considering their presence could be deemed Lilliputian) and delivers a fine performance under this added pressure. Facial acting, a forgotten aspect of the art itself, is exercised with ease by Armitage, which only adds to the depth of his role. Without a strong showing in this particular area, Thorin would be nothing more than a twenty-first-century depiction of Redd Foxx, in an episode of "Sanford and Son."

    Among the other notable returnees is Ian McKellen, as our favorite wizard in Gandalf the Grey, and Martin Freeman, as the lionhearted Bilbo Baggins. Both of these distinguished actors find their way, in what seem to be limited roles. They were surely not given enough dramatic "moments," in the bedlam of actions and events that compose the plot. Returning as the highly skilled Elven archer, Legolas, is Orlando Bloom, whose demeanor seems to have lost all hints of snide, which has been superseded by a sense of repressed anger. With this character, comes the inexorable sequences of "Matrix"-esque movements, and a flurry of arrows, although there is a scene in which Legolas inexplicably runs out of said arrows for the first time in six films.

    Despite the successes that "The Battle of the Five Armies" conjures, it is deficient in numerous aspects of quality film-making, namely, a lack of a resolution to certain, and even, important matters, and of course, there are the slightly unfavorable instances that Jackson is known for. (For example, the use of computer generated imaging to create a dwarf, instead of using a real actor.)

    As mentioned above, the Arkenstone, an integral piece to the puzzle, and its well-being, are completely disregarded, leaving us with a cavernous sized hole, in what is suppose to be the defining chapter in a three-part series of films. (More attention is given to the "one" ring, in an attempt to link the two trilogies, which is nonessential at this point.) Furthermore, there is the issue of Bard, who is a valued portion of the story, yet we are left wondering as to what exactly happens to him.

    More importantly, however, Jackson has found a new method of creating an emotional distance between his characters and the audience, that being, heedlessly stretching an already thin subject matter into detached parts of a whole. Scenes that would warrant a strong urging of sentiment were entirely lost on my consciousness, as there was simply not enough reason for attachment. (Not to mention the love story that was created for this sole purpose, yet never nurtured to a state that would require a pervading of emotion.)

    Imagine if "Schindler's List" were separated into distinct portions; the concluding monologue of Schindler, himself, would not have held the same dramatic worth, and all compassion would be squandered. Of course, moviegoers who sat in for all three pictures, as part of a limited engagement, had the chance to relish in this intuitive connection between patron and on-screen persona, and that is the complication with this formula.

    Up to this point, I have given every picture, whose setting is that of Middle-earth, four stars, and I have never thought twice about the decision. Nevertheless, for anyone who is seriously interested in the medium, and art, of film, there is one notion that can never be ignored, and one that is quite relative here. For, it is not what the film is about, that makes it a masterpiece or the epitome of unimaginative thought, but how it is about it. Whether or not you agree with this notion of structure supremacy is inconsequential, because, without it, the meaning of this delicate craft would be lost forever.