Thursday, April 16, 2009

Observe and Report In 150 Words or Less

A smart and disturbing film. Seems to me that the title's the most obvious clue as to where it's coming from: it observes Ronnie and reports his actions, but it isn't condoning it and it certainly isn't telling us to laugh. Eventually I stopped laughing and sat in grim-faced horror at what was going on, and I think it's some ballsy film-making going on here, uprooting our expectations and shoving our nihilism in our face. We want to make a savage hero out of this broken man and it doesn't let us off the hook once for that.

There were bits that didn't work - I didn't like Michael Peña's performance much; everything having to do with him took me out of the film. And Seth's performance showed its seams every so often (dude can't cry).

So it's not perfect. But it is a risky, challenging film, well worth seeing.


Glenn Dunks said...

But what about Anna?

Jason Adams said...

I know! I should've not bothered keeping this review to 150 words because I had to keep editing it down word by word to get it under and I never even got around to Anna. Truth be told, she was hysterical of course but there isn't a lot of her that isn't in the trailer. Her part is pretty small. I thought she was great, and liked that her character was pretty unrepentantly awful. Anna usual plays terrible people but sorta winks at you, but here there was no winking. This girl was just horrible.