The Life of David Gale Reviews
I liked how the story was focussed on trying to get point across, that innocent people do get murdered unjustly within the death penalty counties of america.
But, this is also the story of a man whose life just went off the rails for all the wrong reasons, who wants to do something for the world before he leaves. In that perspective, this was a decent enough flick or even, I dare say rather inspiring.
That being said, the movie is not without it's glitches. A not so challenging role for Kate Winslet considering her abilities, occasionally flawed narrative and an annoying background score which did'nt seem to connect anyway to the premise of the movie.
Director: Alan Parker
Summary: When Texas professor David Gale (Kevin Spacey), an advocate for the elimination of the death penalty, is falsely accused and convicted of the rape and murder of another activist (Laura Linney), he ends up on the state's notorious death row himself. In a series of flashbacks, Gale tells his story to a young reporter (Kate Winslet) who's visiting him on death row, leaving her to sort out his guilt or innocence.
My Thoughts: "This has to be (in my opinion) one of the best suspense films I have seen. It's messy, doesn't really develop the characters that well, but I don't think its needed. It's not telling the story of these people, it's telling the story of the events that have happened in David Gales life that led him to where he's at. Great suspense all the way till the end. Never knew where the story was going and the ending was brilliant. The measures that they went to, to prove their point was extreme, but brilliantly done. It's a smart messy film with great performances by (my fav) Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, and Laura Linney. It's a must see in my opinion, so see it if you haven't."
The Life of David Gale tried very hard to be a thought-provoking movie that raises questions and encourages dialogue about a very important and divisive issue. Instead, it ended up being a preachy train wreck that's likely to bore you no matter what side (if any) you find yourself on in regard to the issue of the death penalty.
There are two plot twist that instantly transformed this from a somewhat watchable mediocre movie (watchable because I'm such a fan of Spacey, Winslet, and Linney) to an absolute train wreck. They're so contrived and absurd that they completey derail the entire film (twice!). Someone should have locked writer Charles Randolph in his house and not let him out until he had replaced the awful second half of The Life of David Gale with something that didn't border on lunacy.
Skip this. Whether you're for or against capital punishment won't change the fact that this is a bad movie.
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Matt Craven.
Many of the top critics hated this film and to be honest, I held off trying to hire it because of some of there comments. I thought it be time to finally see the film. This is a prime example of a problematic film, one where it is flawed, messy and has to many unnecessary moments, but one that also has major potential and shows a lot of brilliance.
The story follows David Gale, a smart minded anti-death penalty activist who seems to have everything, a strong role as a university professor and he has a wife and a beautiful kid who he loves so dearly. When he is accused of raping an expelled student and murdering a fellow activist member, he has days before he is sentenced to death. He calls upon journalist Bitsy Bloom, someone who is not only brilliant at what she does but has also had time behind bars, he meets with her to deliver the true story of his life before his meet with death. Its great to see that the film pulls away the fiction from the film and plays like it is all real, even though the character is made up. What pulls the film down though with the script is how messy and flawed it is. For the first hour it is really by the numbers, going through the tripe we all have grown to know scaringly well. The strong message of death penalty is really bought across with too much push that we are bombarded with too many unnecessary facts and it doesn't help when we really just wants a compelling viewing experience rather than Current Events 101 shoved down our throats, especially when it isn't compelling as it could and should be. The editing was too much, taking the 'facts' of the screenplay and jumping from each line to the next, making it even that more irratating....and not to mention the cuts to words written on paper and the strange camera angles by director Alan Parker.
Thats the problems said, because behind all of these, theres a strong film wanting to get out. You have moments of tense atmosphere and one hell of an interesting and surprisingly shocking end and the movie is helped to be carried by a very strong, controlled and tense performance by my favourite actor Kevin Spacey and a convincing performance from Kate Winslet.
At the end of the all that, I won't be watching the film again and I'd probably forget it before long. It has moments that are disturbing and tense, it carries two strong performances and has a very intense and shocking ending, but the screenplay is also messy, by the numbers and has too many facts thrown at us to make any point of the message convincing....and the terrible editing doesn't help. As Richard Roeper said, 'A dazzling mess'.
Still, pretty exciting second half.