Friday, October 10, 2008

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH (Francis Ford Coppola, 2007, USA) Smoke and mirrors. Time. Illusion. Duality. Transmigration of the soul. Accelerated decrepitude. Nietzsche’s THUS SPOKE ZARATHUSTRA. Philip K. Dick’s exegesis VALIS. This philosophical potpourri is exquisitely photographed but frustratingly paced making the two-hour run time seem like an eternity. This is not about the spiritual and philosophical dialogue; this is really a simple story about love and sacrifice. Tim Roth is excellent as Dominic, the aging linguistics researcher who is struck by lightening and becomes young once again (yes, I consider 40 young!) and becomes supra human. He is unable to complete his research, his Raison d'ĂȘtre, because of the death of Laura, his love many years before. He is cold and unloved in his old age and maybe realizes the mistake of his youth. When his age is reversed, his two personalities light/dark (kinda like Smeagol/Gollum) at first live a symbiotic existense. But when Dominic meets Veronica (who is very similar to Laura, his lost love) and he realizes that her physical body is being used by an ancient spirit, his reflections clash. Through her, he can finish his work as she regresses through the evolution of language soon to reveal the original proto-language…but there’s always a price to pay. She begins to age quickly so Dominic must sacrifice his life’s work for the woman he loves but can never have. He has gained youth but without the folly of youth. And that is what this film is all about: to love someone so completely that they become more important than yourself. Coppola’s film is too concerned with exposition which grinds the plot to a halt, making this intelligent story a bit of a bore…like sitting through a philosophy lecture with a hangover. (C)

No comments: