|HOME | MOVIES | REVIEWS|
|May 19, 2000||
Beauty can make things come alive.
Beauty can titillate the senses.
Beauty can kill.
But beauty isn't all that can kill. Trying to live life the way you truly want to can kill too!!
Lester Burnham decides to live and it kills him. It's no secret -- as he begins to relate the story of his life, he tells you he will die before the end of the year.
But before the year is over, he hopes to break free of the daily drudgery and start living anew.
Lester hopes to rid himself of old baggage -- the facade of his modern, commercially successful marriage (his wife has a $4,000 Italian sofa to prove it), his eight hour job and his life (where masturbating in the morning shower is the high point of his day).
He wishes to move to that higher realm of perception where the mind is fogged with the smoke of the $2,000 weed. He hopes to begin working out. He hopes to give in to his fantasies about his teenage daughter's beautiful friend.
But all this comes at a price -- death. For nothing is more romantic than that final symphony, when you can taste everything that is beautiful.
Writer Alan Ball was writing sit-coms 'where all I did was write about characters insulting each other,' until he stumbled upon a plastic bag whirling around him, near the trash can of the World Trade Center. He saw the beauty. And lucky are those who can see and truly comprehend the 'benevolent forces' at work behind such everyday beauty.
Director Sam Mendes had a polished gem to begin with when he started this movie, because Ball had already put his soul into every scene, every character, every word and every single frame of the film.
The story of an ordinary man who never had enough was never so beautifully told.
Kevin Spacey is Lester Burnham. The man is so terrifyingly good that he scares you. No one could have played the role of the ordinary man with such tenderness, such sensitivity, in such an ordinary way. He elevates acting to an art that can be held, seen and savoured.
Annette Benning gives her career's best performance, though the film never lets the audience touch her until the last scene, by which time there is no redemption left.
The production design by Noami Shohan compliments every frame by cinematographer Conrad Hall. The red rose petals, the red door of the Burnham residence, the dance of the plastic bag are all pieced and intricately edited together by Tariq Anwar and Christopher Greenbury. Composer Thomas Nueman's music -- a mix of guitar and tabla along with a flute accompaniment -- is translucent and transcendental.
The film deserved every single one of the five Oscars it earned. Because it makes you look within yourself and remember the childlike innocence your first kiss, the gentle heave of a woman's breast, the wind against your face when the sky was just right and you could smell heaven. You will recollect every magic moment that filled you.
This epiphany makes you look at the things that matter -- maybe it's not too late, maybe you could live again. Try to find the beauty that surrounds you, appreciate the brilliance of a sunset, gaze at a starlit sky with a sense of wonder when every movement ceases.
If you still can't get to the crux of what I am trying to say, then let me quote Lester's words, "I'm sure you don't know what I'm talking about, do you? But don't worry, you will. Someday."
Do tell us what you think of this review
SINGLES | NEWSLINKS | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | MILLENNIUM | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK