Skip to main content

The Counselor

The Counselor

Love is being in bed with you, the rest is waiting.”
The Counselor, 2013




I love an opening scene of a film that delves immediately into love making. The relationship is sealed, it becomes the pivotal denominator during the film, and there is nothing else that can happen that can take that importance away. The movie opens with The Counselor (Michael Fassbinder) intimately lying under white sheets with Laura (Penelope Cruz). In this tender moment he asks her to say something sexy, “I want you to put your hands up my dress”, she says, “but you're not wearing a dress”, he coyly remarks, “What does that have to do with it?”, sighing, relishing the moment, then commenting, “You've ruined me”, completely foreshadowing the tragedy that will unfold.

For the rest of the film, it is this relationship that remains as the focus, and the demise of the Counselor, whose name we never find out, as he pursues his drug trafficking quest. In the mix is the Cartel, some gruesome well timed and calculated murders, two cheetahs, fast cars, and the evil ice princess hunter, Malkina (Cameron Diaz), who masterminds the events that lead to her wealth.

The Counselor is an unusual film in that it has been scripted by a novelist, Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and the clever writing drives the action forward, keeps the audience interested and listening hard for the philosophical brilliance in the script. The words are carefully chosen, lyrical, methodical and revelatory, yet the film cannot sustain its perfection. I feel that some of the editing and the story therefore, could have been tighter. There seem to be scenes that have been included, just for the sake of it, because the script included some interesting dialogue yet had nothing to do with driving the story. I couldn't understand why Malkina would even attempt a confession in Church, or why the viewer has to follow the drug runner's entry into his home, and feed his dog. There was no significance in either of these scenes. To be sure it is a well written script, there are some very talented actors, Brad Pitt included, directed well by Ridley Scott, yet the editing is disappointing. The film could have been better handled in Post, and this would have inadvertently cut some of the slack that it has received to date. There has to be so much care taken during Post or else the film will lose it's lustre.

Nevertheless it is worth seeing, especially for the quotes and the philosophical stance that McCarthy takes on greed, love, and life.

Malkina:
I suspect that we are ill-formed for the path we have chosen. Ill-formed and ill-prepared. We would like to draw a veil over all the blood and terror that have brought us to this place. It is our faintness of heart that would close our eyes to all of that, but in so doing it makes of it our destiny... But nothing is crueler than a coward, and the slaughter to come is probably beyond our imagining.

Definitely a film to see so we can say Hollywood got it nearly right.


Stella Dimadis



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Silver Linings Playbook-Cinematography

Cinematography
"Photography is truth.  The cinema is truth 24 times per second."

Jean-Luc Godard.

It comes as no surprise that I made a point of watching 'Silver Linings Playbook', directed by David. O Russell for the one and only  reason that Bradley Cooper is the lead.  I admire his ease and fluidity as an actor in front of the camera, coupled with the control that his eyes muster with each line of dialogue that he delivers.  'Silver Linings Playbook' revolves around Bradley Cooper who plays Pat Solitano, a teacher with Bipolar disorder who has been released from the psychiatric hospital, under the care of his mother, Jacki Weaver and his father, played by Robert De Niro.  He is determined to win back his ex wife, but in the interim meets Tiffany Maxwell, played by Jennifer Lawrence, a recently widowed sex addict who tells him that she will help him get his wife back, providing he enters a dance competition with her.  It is a feel good story by the end with s…

Freedom and the Migrant Experience

Freedom and the Migrant Experience " The secret to happiness is freedom...And the secret to freedom is courage." Thucydides 460-395 B.C

The online series, Migrant Stories, is about to conclude with anther two interviews to go and then it will be a few months in the edit suite to complete Series 4 & Series 5.  In May last year, I committed to the idea of creating a series of Migrant Stories, inspired mainly by the stories that we were losing and not recording here in Australia due to the ageing population of Migrants, considering so many came to Australia during the Post War years.  I figured I would dedicate 12 months of my filmmaking time to do this- and this I have done.  With the last of the interviews to be aired between April and May of 2018.


In all, there will be 30 stories.  At this stage, I wanted to share that there were a number of common threads between each and every person that was interviewed, and to take a moment to reflect on this.  In doing so, I found …