Saturday, March 20, 2010

"Repo Men" (2010) - Movie Review

The recent economy crash has presented the proof of the irresponsibility the system has harnessed. There is healthcare debate and capitalism cataclysm, put them together and it is “Repo Men”. A bloody, violent and a grotesque poetry which turns around at the tip of its presentation to rethink the whole film. The film began as the regular thriller. That means a very early prediction from my side on why the final job of the seasoned repo man Remy (Jude Law) back fired. It reclined further into another cruise control of a familiar plot line of the bad man hesitating to be on the opposite side of his job. Finally it became the gore fest it very much wanted to be and left me disgusted and at the same time empathizing the objective of it. And then, it offers a piece of information which put me in disarray, not confusion.

Jude Law lives in this more corrupted society where people are offered the choice of their life time with their entire life to pay for. Frank (Liev Schrieber) is a methodical sales man and a boss man for this team of mercenary. Remy and his childhood buddy Jake (Forest Whitaker) are a great team and have enormous fun doing this reclamation when the buyers skip bills. Soon there are more repossessions than actual sale. Remy’s wife (Carice van Houten) has had enough of this sickening job and has been bugging Remy forever for him to move into a docile department. He decides finally with lot of opposition from his friend Frank. One last job puts him in the position to get an artificial heart and now he is in the system. He cannot see his job of retrieving property the same as he conveniently used to.

There is essentially not even a speck of originality in this transformation. The transformation though has been the single most driving factor for understanding cultures in “Dances in the Wolves” and the CGI aliens in the not so impressive “Avatar”. The protagonist generally is in the dark side and makes a shift by literally been put in his/her victim’s shoes. The denial dims as the regret and guilt swallows themselves up. All is left is to fight the system back. Many of these steps have been a flow chart process. Still great directors get it. They not alone makes their lead character take the place but make the audience take it along with them. “Repo Men” is not much about that process . It has a different agenda which we realize in the end.

The cast here is ideal for a film that begins with disaster written over it. Jude Law as this English man living in the futuristic US is deeply devilish with a vigour and becomes a sympathetic man when we leave the theatre. Forest Whitaker is active, animated and makes Jake a lovable troublesome friend. He makes Jake not completely evil but with a touch of human and a possessive child in an adult body. And what can we say about Liev Schrieber, an equivalent charismatic man as Aaron Eckhart in “Thank you for Smoking” and to act out a deservingly hatable Frank.

The film sinks as it sails along to reach the inevitable destination of poor film making. At least it appeared so and it also takes the trouble of giving more reasons to flinch and wonder how much farther they are going to take this blood fountain. In the final act of Remy and his new love Beth (Alice Braga), similar to the “Old Boy” styled stunt with slice, chop, cut, stomp with distasteful sharp objects, they enter this server room (there is always a server room) to delete their accounts. Alas, they do not have a keyboard but a scanner. Director Miguel Sapochnik then goes into the darkest poetry you fathomed and begins love, flesh (literal) and organs being dug into the live body.

Then the unthinkable happens, a twist which always was in patches escaping by me makes to rethink major part of the film in a different perspective. In that, everything makes sense and not as a plot filler but a genuine utilization of the twist. It is not a huge surprise of revelation because you know it coming for most part in your subconscious mind. The reevaluation is the whole presentation of the film. Suddenly you see the reasoning for the detail in which Sapochnik went on to paint a flinching para of distasteful poem. The characters that did not make it out of a paper cut from a poster gets a make over.

I am definitely divided in coming up with a solid verdict for “Repo Men”. On one end it is this commercial R-rated entertainer being there to satiate these video game fans and follows the plot structure like several other failed blockbusters. Then there is the ingenuity of the ending and this is definitely me (as much as every review is the subjective opinion of myself). Now I cannot recommend for the unimpressive presentation and at the same time I want to recommend because the director makes an artistic blunder to prove his point. It is as Remy tells in an unexplainable no sense story about a cat being put in a box with a poisonous gas, being in the state of living and dead. “Repo Men” is exactly that.

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