This was the first movie I got for Edward Norton week, which we all know didn't happen. I've had this movie for a long time but never watched it because I wanted to use it for my tribute to Norton. Now, I couldn't even remember why I got this movie? How did I even learn about it? Before watching it, I tried to think what the story was about, who else was in it. Nothing came to mind, though. Turns out I had absolutely no idea what the movie was about expect I go tit several months ago, and that Edward Norton starred in it. However, I knew I got this for some reason so it must be good.
I read in the internet that this movie was supposed to be connected to the 9/11 attack. I never got that reference. I didn't think it had anything to do with the attacks, except for one excerpt shown during Norton's soliloquy, which was probably one of the best monologues I've seen in a movie. It was also one of my favorite parts. The message of the speech was relevant and current, even though the movie was released a decade ago. It was full of angst and racist comments, but I thought they were mentioned no to spread hate or be against someone, but to intensify the growing anger his character was feeling. I though the whole scene provoked me as an audience member to respond, to feel something out of it.
To clarify what I mentioned above, I should probably give a short summary of what was about to happen. The main premise of the movie revolved around a man who's about to spend 7 years in prison after someone ratted him out to the authorities for dealing drugs. It followed his life during his last hours of freedom, how he intended to spend the last remaining hours before he gets in to jail. He met up with friends, friends he thought was real and people he could depend on. He met with his father, and this encounter gave the background for Norton's character. Monty's life, at least his family life, was revealed through his interactions and conversations with his father. Also, he spent it with her girl, which started with a problem whether she was the one who ratted him out. There were a lot of layers in the premise, each handling one side of his character.
The movie was very dialogue/speech-driven. The words were direct, but also eloquent. The whole beauty, for lack of a better term, of the movie relied heavily on what was being aid. Different characters had different personalities in the movie, and the way they spoke, and what they said completely defined them as people. There was always a message and every dialogue and there's always something to learn and unravel. It had great monologues as well, well-written and thought-provoking. The whole process of writing this was just incredibly impressive.
The performances of all the actors elevated the quality of the movie. There were only few characters in it, which probably helped in allowing all the characters to have their moments. I was even more impressed with how they performed during last few minutes of the movie. Monty's about to go to jail, everyone supporting him were on their own edge, not knowing what to do about it. The last few minutes of the movie solidified the power of the cast to portray their characters.
The ending of the movie was intriguing and, I thought, very smart. It's a fantasy vs reality sort of thing. But the way it was handled oozed artistry and definitely showed that the guys behind the movie were pros. From the conceptualization to the execution, the ending scenes were flawless. It was just great t see it. It was a little heartbreaking, but still a pretty great scene.
The movie was a fantastic movie, probably even one f Norton's better films. That's saying a lot cause I haven't been let down by any Norton movie. I've liked all his work. However, if forced to rank the movies, this one will be on the upper half. It's one of those movies you have to appreciate for the simple reason that it's a brilliant movie.
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