Jason's Review of 25th Hour
Most Spike Lee movies are an education for me. I feel like I'm being exposed to a world that seems so different from my own. Yet now I feel like I live a little bit closer to that world at times, but in 25th Hour I still feel so distant from this world, but I still care so much about the people and lives that inhabit this part of New York soon after 9/11. There are events that leave you changed forever, even if they don't directly impact you. For Monty Brogan (Ed Norton), it will be the beginning of his 7 year prison term that starts within 25 hours of when the film begins. For his two best friends, father and girlfriend, it will be the loss of the Monty they know. And all the while the movie takes this journey, the fresh devastation of 9/11 is an unmistakable theme. Everyone who lived in the vast, magnificent city (that I've still never been to) were changed so dramatically. And you get the sense in the movie that this cloud of sadness, loss and despair fills these characters lives, all the way down to the lighting used. I find the beginning shots of the city to be very reminiscent of Woody Allen's beginning to Manhattan, but almost like an antonym to those scenes. Instead of loud, celebratory brass instruments highlighting the city in glorious black and white, in 25th Hour, we get ground swelling surges of symphonic swells that fill the audience with a sense of dread. Ed Norton's performance carries the burdens of his own mistakes so well. The rest of the performance are stellar as well. It does move slowly at times, so don't expect a fast paced movie. Instead you should expect to reflect on it quite often after your viewing.