Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cassandra's Dream

No I'm Angela

Woody Allen's final movie in his loose London Trilogy, with Match Point and Scoop preceding it, but without Scarlett Johansson's participation. Instead we get great chemistry between Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell who play two brothers caught up in a moral tale that unfolds in Greek tragedy and operatic n proportions.

The draw of the movie is no doubt the main leads. Ewan McGregor stars as Ian, who works in his father's restaurant but dreams of participating in some real estate opportunities. Only catch is he has no funds to make any form of investment. However he has this showy streak, and often borrows from his brother Terry (Colin Farrell), the fast cars from the latter's workshop, or money when Terry makes some extra income from gambling, which is his major vice in life.

We follow the story of the brothers for a bit, with Ian falling for small time theatre actress Angela Stark (Hayley Atwell), who's quite high maintenance, while brother Terry has his winning streak at the tables being abruptly ended, and turns out to be owing tens of thousands to illegal creditors. Both naturally run into financial difficulty, but then their family has a benefactor, a rich uncle (played by Tom Wilkinson) who swears by family and blood, and offers to bail them out, just like before, and just like how he had helped their family with everything.

Of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, and this time round there is a catch, as the brothers, in order to obtain their money, have to help their uncle in dispatching one of his business rivals. So begins the dilemma of committing the perfect crime, and the moral tussle between the brothers, one whom sees it as an obligation to repay their uncle for what he has done for them, and going to do of course, while the other just finds it wrong, and has to constantly battle the guilty conscious.

While they look like unlikely brothers, Farrell and McGregor play off each other rather well, in particular, Farrell. We seldom see him in a role that's not the alpha male type, and the last I know of watching him look scared, on the edge, and depressed, was in the movie Phone Booth. Most of the time, his on screen persona always is very cock sure of himself, but not here, and allows for some excellent results.

Other than that, the movie just chugs along until the finale, and doesn't offer any intriguing twists or tickle your brains any further once the dilemma is over and the decision to head down the slippery slope chosen. A decent movie for its star power, but definitely not one of Allen's best, even amongst the London Trilogy.

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