All anyone wants is to feel connected to something, a person, the universe, life. Spike Jonze weaves a beautifully crafted story around one broken mans desire to feel something more than fear, pain and bitterness. Without delving into the melodramatic, the story reaffirms the notion in a matter of fact way that people hurt people and that trust is the most difficult thing to allow in any relationship. What I found interesting is that in the darkness of the films tone, there were uplifting afirmations that we must chose to see beyond the brokenness of our live and face the beautiful world outside and see it through the eyes of someone else, when our are unable too. It does make you ponder deeply the thought of how we connect with each other and should the intimacy of touch be missing, can love be sustained? Should this actually be a look into the future, when Siri becomes "live", will humanity just be looking for an intellectual relationship that can be supported simply by a computer system or will we still desire the physical connection?
What an astounding performance by the most unlikely actor. You can be forgvien for forgetting that McConaughey started out by doing "dramas", but its on occasions like this, where actors shed their Hollywood persona, that you get to see brilliance. For his performance alone, DBC is a film worthy of your time. Then there is Leto, not a man to shy aware from being daring, nor to explore the darker recesses of humanity, he comes back to cinema in a blaze of tacky 80's fashion, hot pink eyeshadow, torn stockings and no eyebrows to create what I believed was the heart of the film, what Ron does is for people like Rayon, although in the beginning its about the money, by the end its more than that. Like the race issue being a touchy ground for Hollywood to explore, homosexuality and the AIDS crisis is also touchy, but they are getting there and this film is sometimes shocking and uncomfortable and proves again there are directors willing to be daring and brave to bring these "true" stories to life in such a way that we are often forced to look at ourselves. Brilliant film making by Vallee and although at times the story becomes laborious its still well and truly worth the time.
Its been a long time since I have held my breath through a film and not since perhaps Roots have I seen a film that deals with slavery in an honest, horrifying way. At times a period piece and others a thriller, 12 Years a Slave should be compulsory viewing for "white" America, so they can learn and know that the very foundation of the United States (Land of the Free) was forged under the spilled blood and broken bones of black men and women. I was so memerised by the performances of Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong'o that I forgot to weep from my broken heart. Its provocative, uncomfortable and raw, touching your soul deeply as the fight between good and evil, right and wrong, black and white play out in a desperate cry for freedom. Steve Mcqueen crafts a beautiful film, capturing emotion and moments in stunning visceral honesty, with scenes to brutal and uncomfortable you want to look away, but don't. May Mcqueen continue to make provocative films because we need him doing it. We need film to be the microscope with which we look through to see the underbelly of humanity.