Published on Saturday, 24 April 2010 20:00
Written by Rock
|Directed By||Woody Allen|
|Written By||Woody Allen|
|Starring||Brian Cox, Emily Mortimer, Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Matthew Goode, Penelope Wilton|
|DVD Distributer||Dreamworks Video|
|By It Now On|
Did anyone ever tell you, you play a very aggressive game?
To be completely open and honest, this opinionated bastard would have to state that I am not the most devoted Woody Allen fan. Granted, having been weened on such classics as Casino Royale
(1967), Take The Money and Run
(1971), Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)
(1972), and Sleeper
(1973), which were thoroughly revered, this reviewer started to lose interest in the directors work as he matured to such features as Annie Hall
(1979), and the like. To be frank, his chosen field of the cerebral, and adult oriented facade of the romantic comedy bored this particular viewer. To add to this conflict, Allen's personal life, and his relationship with Mia Farrow and Soon-Yi, turned me off to the artist's endeavors; much like that of misdeeds prominent in the life of director Roman Polanski.
However; as much as we as viewers and consumers wield a great deal of discretion within the confines of our own morality, we sometimes must subjugate our divine pontification towards the throws of artistic expression. The Editor and I have had several personal discussions on some of the many deviant and evil bastards that have inserted themselves into this medium, since its inception, and, as troubled as we are with some individuals, have come to the decision that it is the work we must focus upon, and leave the moral standards to the individual audiences to judge. This being stated, I will submit a candid and fair opinion of any film, regardless of any personal prejudice.
First and foremost, Allen is a competent and studied purveyor of film history, and many of his mid to later film projects are derived from, and built upon, the works and styles of other film and screen-writer greats. This reviewer could delve into every nuance and variation of each and every venture the director has propagated, but, most viewers can research that matter themselves, if they care to. For this film, suffice to say, the interest is aimed at the works of Alfred Hitchcock, and pulled off well.
Match Point is the story of former Tennis Pro Chris Wilton (Meyers), whom befriends Tom Hewett (Goode), and enters the world of England's elite and wealthy society. It isn't long before Chris captures the heart of Tom's sister Chloe (Mortimer), and the two begin a romantic relationship. No sooner does this budding romance ensue, than Chris meets the acquaintance of one Nola Rice (Johannson) at the Hewitt homestead. Alone and unsupervised, Chris flirts heavily with Nola, only to discover that she is Tom's guest, and his fiancee.
Tom's mother, Eleanor (Wilton), disapproves of Nola, whom is an American seeking success as an actress, but, without much luck. Though Chris hails from humble origins, as well, his admittance into the family as Chloe's prospective mate, is met with open arms. Chloe persuades her father Alec (Cox), to hire Chris, and he soon climbs the corporate ladder. However; neither of these circumstances serve to dissuade Chris or Nola from entering a clandestine sexual relationship.
After Chris and Chloe are wed, Tom soon dissolves his engagement with Nola, and marries another woman he has impregnated, but, whom also has Eleanor's approval. To escalate matters further, the Wilton's have been unable to conceive a child, yet, Chris manages to knock up Nola. This poses to eradicate the young philanderer's blossoming lifestyle, as the actress has no intentions of terminating the pregnancy, and holds the bastard to all his promises of leaving his wife.
There is no depiction of justice, in any form, within the landscape of Match Point, as it is a foray into the philosophy of luck over chance. Wilton has no admirable qualities as a human being, nor does Miss Rice. The Hewitt's, themselves, are a vapid and disconnected bunch, from the realities of common society. Nobody gets what they truly deserve, and that point in particular is what makes this film work. Allen himself, has stated that this project is arguably his best feature to date.
Match Point is intelligently conceived and executed at every level concerned, and casting within this project is of the utmost taste. There isn't a single character on screen that could have been portrayed better by anyone else, and the production value, scenery, cinematography, locations, and the direction of Allen provide for the most intelligent examples of film making. However; this viewer found the character interactions at times to prove somewhat tedious and drawn out, and this venture tended to drag a bit. Often, when directors like Hitchcock and Tarantino employ this tactic, there is some element of suspense or an explosive point that this type of drama is building to, but, these instances are few and far between.
Fans of Hitchcock might do well and pay heed to this work, for it is an interesting study on suspense film. The ending may surprise and delight those viewers whom enjoy a refreshing change in the way most film makers choose in ending their prospective vehicles.