John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
When They See Us
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Something about this film snuck up on me. It didn't seem to have much going on for a while, and it appeared to be heading in a cliched direction - the surliest inmate paired with the orneriest horse. Bruce Dern could get annoying sometimes. Actually, there were so many little provocations in Roman Coleman's life that it was amazing that such an anger-prone man could hold it together as much as he did.
Then the film changed into a meditation on restorative justice, between inmates and those they've indirectly harmed by their crimes. It ends with a beautiful instance of redemption. An optimistic film.
The brilliant Baz Luhrman-esque musical sequences more than made up for the insufferable therapy culture framing.
Is this really Joe Talbot's first film? It's directed like visual poetry, with several jaw-dropping scenes of beauty. I'll never forget watching Jimmie skateboarding down a long steep hill, with the Bay Bridge looming behind. Or how Bayview/Hunter's Point looked from the shoreline. Jimmie and Monty are as close as two men can be, it seems. But there's a reality about Jimmie's belief regarding his grandfather's former house in Fillmore that he won't accept, until Monty metaphorically strikes him in the face, during a climactic dramatic presentation in the attic. This isn't a polemic about housing in SF, and that might actually disappoint activists who watch it. There are no villains, not even Finn Wittrock's realtor, who is sympathetic to Jimmie's feelings for the house. It's a much more personal story, that doesn't even dwell heavily on race, despite the provocative title.
What a kick it was to see my theatre's marquee showing through the window of a realtor who is discussing the house with Jimmie and Monty.
A quiet, slow moving film. I love the ending,which is really an invitation to consider the different possibilities in store for Rafi and Miloni.