Thursday, June 11, 2009

"The Dying Gaul" (2005) - Movie Review

Some time today, I was mentioning to a friend about how it is ineffective to analyze logical in emotional impulse. I vaguely remember specifying that illogic behaviour in fairly recent review and seeing “The Dying Gaul” faltering made me realize whether I did not acknowledge that observation. Does the rationality which is a parallel existence by this eccentricity made this film an empty experience? The rationality is the sanity in judging to the best of the abilities and hence while I fully understand the implications of the statement, the robotic senses in me identified the flaw, a flamboyantly blatant one in it.

“The Dying Gaul” is the film which does not need much to develop curiosity. More so it does not keep protect its sword of sharp writing in its sheath. Robert Sandrich (Peter Sarsgard) is a writer whose script made the doorway into the studio. The Executive Jeffrey (Campbell Scott) knows that it is a splendid screenplay but gives the known lesson in the glamorous sarcastic truthfulness of Hollywood reality to Robert. Robert as any artistic writer do not want to compromise as the story is about his agent who was his lover and died recently of AIDS. But Jeffrey is a good executive and gets the deal. His wife a retired screenwriter Elaine (Patricia Clarkson) is moved and desperately wants to meet Robert.

So far you are wondering when am I going to shoot at this good setup. Well it is coming in. Jeffrey wants to sleep with Robert and he does. Elaine sympathizes so much with Robert on his suffering of the lost love that she is ready to disguise into a stranger and share his pain in an online chat room. So this triangle of love should have been the film or learn reasonably well about the sexuality of these characters putting their commitments and responsibilities to a turmoil. And we see more devious than the cheating of Jeffrey over his lovely wife and Robert over her kindness and trust. Elaine learning about this over a candid speech from Robert in the chat decides to mess up the already messed Robert. She poses as the dead lover Malcolm.

Already in pain and anguish over the loss and the guilt, Robert is teased, tortured and banished in to further grief by a merciless angry spouse. Writer/Director Craig Lucas leaves the peeling of these characters and begins to get into the conversation of proving Malcolm’s presence and the effect of it towards the fragile Robert. Whether Elaine attains pleasure in doing this, we do not know because Clarkson gives an indifferent and inanimate expression over Elaine. While Robert and Jeffrey smile and behave casual over the picnic and gatherings, Elaine does the deception to a greater degree by acting oblivious to the awareness of their relation and intimately continues her life as a married woman and a mother. Why is she postponing the confrontation or why does she want to torment the man who does not need much of a push to fall into the brink of death? It is not the illogical resultant of an emotional outbreak but a conclusion which has no meaning, pathos or a sense of short story-film noir darkness.

“The Dying Gaul” is a wasteful exercise which has a rare idea of its unfounded depth in a very shallow story. It is a not that it makes Elaine a hateful woman but does not validate the eerie darkness and her diabolical intentions clearly on the table. In between these two is the clueless Jeffrey not so in his actions but as a personality in the script. His immediate attraction towards Robert though for carnal pleasures is not shown as such and only left dubious to make whatever of it. He is a devoted father and a husband but well, he sleeps with Robert. His bisexuality is used as a device for intrigue and not material.

It is a classic indie material not because of its richness but purely of its approach towards forms of sexuality as a backdrop than a content. It either does not take that boldness in the treatment of it on inconceivable suffering for a bisexual being through Jeffrey. It does not even address the insane love Robert have over his dead lover because he is searching for the answers in his faith than the actuality of his actions. And I do not have a speck of evidence of the machinations of Elaine in doing what she does. “The Dying Gaul” is not alone a badly drafted script but has aimless figures whose only purpose is to behave as the script does, more provocatively for no reason.

No comments: