Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Broken Flowers

Jim Jarmusch has produced some of the most interesting and re-watchable cinema over the last decade, namely Dead Man and Ghost Dog. Combine this with Bill Murray's recent cinematic output of highly watchable films such as Lost In Translation and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and Broken Flowers looks like a movie goers wet dream. However, most wet dreams end in a mess and, with sincere apologies for my analogy, so does this film.
[Warning: Contains spoiler. If you do not want to know the plot, please go to final paragraph for summation review. I felt it was neccessary for critique, you may not.]

It begins as his current girlfriend is walking out the door citing irreconciable differences as a pink envelope lands on his hallway. After watching her drive off and feeling dejected, he opens the letter which contains a typed anonymous letter from a past lover stating that she has had his baby and his son is now 20 years old and quite possibly on a road trip to find his father. He takes the letter to his nextdoor neighbour who considers himself an amateur sleuth. He arranges an itinerary for Murray which will take him to 5 past lovers that he has managed to track down to find out if they are the mother to a son he never knew he had or believes he has.

What follows over the next hour or so is awkard meetings and Office-esque banality embarassing reunions with past beaus of which Murray finds out nothing about the possibility of a son and only a shiner to show for his troubles. He returns home to find another letter written by his recent girlfriend stating that she still loves him although he does not seem thrilled at this prospect following his recent activities. However, on his return home, he notices a young man who he believes is his son and tells him that he knows he is the father he is looking for. The kid, thinking that Murray is at the very least a complete weirdo, freaks out and runs off and the movie comes to a close. Has Murray been duped from the beginning with a false letter? Was that really his son? Does he own more than two tracksuits?

I felt that this movie had the potential to deliver so much and fell far from it's initial inertia. What the viewer is left with is a film that never really goes anywhere and leaves loose threads and unanswered questions at the end. What in effect is Jarmusch's most straight forward film is also one of his worst. It's star studded cast and good performances all round enevitably don't add up to the sum of its parts and I feel that the films longevity could have been better spent on actually finishing the story rather than leaving the viewer at a loss of any conclusion. If you haven't seen the films listed in the opening paragraph, I suggest you spend your time and money watching those instead of wasting it on this damp squib.

I would give this movie 2.5 petals out of 5.



Blogger Skry said...

Sounds a bit drab - think I'll give that one a miss. How about doing a review of "But I'm A Cheerleader"? That was much better than I thought it was going to be - 4 pom poms out of 5!

12:24 am  
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