Monday, November 07, 2005

Bark: Broken Film

My girlfriend and I went to see Broken Flowers at the cinema last night. I'm a big fan of Bill Murray, but I do wish I'd put my foot down and insisted we see Corpse Bride instead, because it's one of the most insipid films I've seen in quite a while. Fleur liked it, but I was bored senseless.

Literally half the film is spent with the camera close up to Murray's face with him giving his trademark bored, deadpan look. As a character drama, it focusses far too much on Murray's character, who doesn't even want to be doing what he's doing in the film (going on a road trip to visit several old flames to see if he can discover if they're behind an unsigned letter telling him he has a son) - everyone else being reduced to cameo roles. As a road movie, it doesn't go anywhere, as its a journey he doesn't even want to be on, and the ultimate destination is right back where he started. As a comedy, it doesn't work either, because there's very little comedy in the film. Besides, Jim Jarmusch is far too busy giving us shots of the wing mirror of Bill's car, or close-ups of Murray staring whistfully into space.

It's DULL, DULL, DULL. The symbolism in the film is so desperately heavy-handed it's insulting your intelligence on almost every level. Murray's character is called Don Johnston (cue half a dozen "Don Johnson? Really?" jokes) and in the opening scene (where he's unceremoniously dumped by Julie Delpy) he's watching Don Juan on TV. Don Juan. Don Johnston. He's a serial womaniser. Oh, I can't contain myself. I never would have figured that one out in a million years. Even worse, the teenage daughter of Sharon Stone's character (one of Don's old flames) greets him at the door in a dressing gown, walks in front of him stark naked and is called "Lolita". No, I'm struggling to find the reference, too.

The characters are all tiresome and one-dimensional - the film's a complete waste of celluloid; and of Bill Murray. Avoid.
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