Friday, July 4, 2008

BE KIND REWIND (Michel Gondry, 2008, USA) Michael Gondry has a wonderful child-like imagination and a visual flair for the sublime; ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and SCIENCE OF SLEEP almost attain the level of art over mere entertainment. Unfortunately, this film is a shallow childish artistic regression. The premise of the film is beautifully absurd but falls flat with uninspired slapstick improvisation that lacks any unique or empowering insight…or laugh. The film’s forward momentum stalls when Jack Black’s annoying shenanigans intrude upon the narrative though a subtly competent performance by Mos Def tries but can’t quite maintain the equilibrium. The quirky but often pathetic “Sweded” films offer a few mild laughs. The heart of this story beats within the relationship between shop owner Elroy Fletcher and Mike. This could have been an inspiring story about a lonely aging man who holds dearly to his past, who desires to share his memories and experiences with his “son” in order to keep them from disappearing like tears in the rain. (They should have “Sweded” BLADE RUNNER). This could have been a superb commentary on the dumbing down of Hollywood movies (re: audiences) and the technology that often replaces human nature. Instead, it spends too much time on a conventional plot with insipid dialogue that doesn’t come alive until the very end. The film almost comes together in the grand finale: it is a very touching and heartfelt scene as the community comes together and shares a rare moment of camaraderie, not only as voyeurs but as participants in the drama. The past has been kept alive and we know this: It need not be true to have happened. It is a kindhearted ending that just can’t keep me from wanting to rewind and erase this movie from my memory. (D)


library said...

I did not enjoy this movie. I thought it was a disappointing effort by Gondry. I loved Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, I thought it was so touching and romantic. How can someone that made that film crank out trash like be kind, rewind?

Alex DeLarge said...

He has wonderful potential, even THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, though flawed, was a much more enjoyable human drama.