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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

All You Need To Know About... A History of Violence

Movie: A History of Violence
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: Josh Olsen, adapted from the graphic novels by John Wagner and Vince Locke
Distributor: Alliance Atlantis
Website: http://www.historyofviolence.com/
Viggo Mortensen: Tom Stall
Maria Bello: Edie Stall
Ed Harris: Carl Fogarty
William Hurt: Richie Cusack
Ashton Holmes: Jack Stall
Peter MacNeill: Sheriff Sam Carney

Plot: A History of Violence stars Viggo Mortensen as a pillar of a small town community who runs a diner and lives a happy and quiet life with his wife (Maria Bello) and two children. But their lives are forever changed when Mortensen thwarts an attempted robbery and is lauded as a hero by the media, attracting the attention of some mobsters (William Hurt and Ed Harris) who believe he is someone else.

Comments: (mild spoiler?) I really wanted to like this film. It got such great reviews from the Cannes festival and good buzz at the TIFF, that it wasn’t in fact until about three-quarters through that I realized… I do not like this AT ALL. Greektown, Noogie and I saw this film last night and both Greektown and I disliked it, for mostly similar reasons. Noogie, comparing this to a modern Western, as many reviewers did, liked it. He also suggested that we didn’t like it because we were girls, but lets not let this get ugly…

My thoughts? I found it campy. I though Ed Harris was a caricature of a mobster. William Hurt was horrible. Although the violence was gratuitous, it wasn’t really a problem for me. What I resented was that the story was about a character – Tom, who goes to great pains to leave a shadowy life behind and start fresh and live well, then when confronted with violence from his past, reverts immediately to his old self and then expects to be welcomed back as good old Tom when it’s all over with (does anyone else think that you can kill that many mobsters and then sashay back home and live a peaceful life again??? Helloooo?). It was stupid – what woman would welcome a man like that back into her life and family?

What I really didn’t like about this is that it suggested that violence is an acceptable means to an end, provided that you’re only knocking off other “bad guys.” The ultimate triumph of “good over evil” when good isn’t remotely good, sucked. If you care to engage in lively debate, see it and offer your perspective…

Posted by Brown Eyed Girl :: 5:19 PM :: 1 Comments:

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