Feb 02 2009

I’m Not There…And Neither Is Anyone Else

Published by at 8:00 am under Blog,Movie Review,Movies

I'm Not ThereSo disinterested in this film, I find myself drawn to the laptop instead to surf the Internets. Trouble is, I have no internet connection, so what to do? I am doing the unprecedented – I am writing a negative review for my blog. I see a lot of films and I attend many events, I go out a lot and I have an active social life. Generally speaking, I only put the positives up on my blog with a few exceptions.

Tonight (Saturday 31st January), after watching a couple of excellent episodes of the new series of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we (in truth, it’s less ‘we’ more ‘I’) decide to watch the Bob Dylan semi-biopic, I’m Not There. I was disappointed to miss it in the cinema and I just never got around to watching it until now. Ruminating on the story of Dylan’s life, the man’s emotional tale is told through six characters representing different stages of Dylan’s existence, including Richard Gere as Billy the Kid and Cate Blanchett as the drug addicted recording artist.

Oftentimes it’s been said that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts – in this case the whole is pretty poor when compared with what is ploughed into it. The acting is quite superb – in that Cate Blanchett plays a heartbreaking ‘Dylan’; the supporting cast give it their all, including a small but good turn from Dawson’s Creek and Brokeback Mountain‘s Michelle Williams and surprisingly striking performance from Bruce Greenwood as both Mr. Jones and a sympathetic Pat Garrett (the man who killed Billy the Kid). The cinematography is good – we are presented with some great shots from stark angles. The music is understandably perfect. The whole film is based upon the life of the most mysterious and fascinating of all singer-songwriters of the last century. And yet, despite all that is going for it, this film ends up as a too long, pretentious muddle. As I said to Lottie before she fell asleep from boredom, the film makers spent so much time making a clever movie, they forgot to make a good one.

Never create anything, it will be misinterpreted, it will chain you and follow you for the rest of your life.

I'm Not There


Playing the many faces of Dylan the film includes a dull performance which I’m thankful Heath Ledger will not be remembered for; I’ve mentioned Blanchett‘s understandably Oscar nominated role, but the two standout performances for me are from the young black ‘Dylan’ played by Marcus Carl Franklin and the underused Ben Whishaw as the poetic ‘Dylan’ who doesn’t get enough screen time at all. Richard Gere‘s performance is solid but heavily let down by the director’s attempt at making a western style Sam Peckinpah movie…minus the grit. Lastly, Christian Bale‘s performance in the film is largely pointless apart from the fact that he does a fine ‘political Dylan’ impression. Although this good performance is counteracted by the dismal take on the ‘born-again Dylan’.

It’s like you’ve got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room. There’s no telling what can happen.

The film closes with this line, as if it is offering some kind of explanation or even apology for all that has gone before. All I can say is exactly the same thing I say to anyone who apologises to me: Don’t say sorry, just don’t do it again.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “I’m Not There…And Neither Is Anyone Else”

  1. Lottieon 02 Feb 2009 at 9:16 am

    Did we watch this? Oh. Yea. I remember now. Very disappointing.

  2. Radgeon 02 Feb 2009 at 9:21 am

    It bored the living nightlife out of me. A poor purchase.

  3. Darrenon 02 Feb 2009 at 11:31 am

    @Lottie You missed NOTHING!

    @Radge I had such high hopes for it. A waste of my time.

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