Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Monday, January 09, 2006

Movie Review: "Broken Flowers" (2005)

Here I come Oscars....not

Broken Flowers by Jim Jarmusch is a winner in critic's circles and has won numeous awards such as the Cannes 2005 Gran Prix

Don Johnston(Bill Murray) is a playboy who can't even count how many girls he's been wihin a 20 year span. One day in his dreary suburban middle aged life he is deserted by his current lover Shelley (Julie Delpy) and at the same time left a pink envelope in the mail which contains a letter coming from a mysterious woman (he supposes) who claims to be one of her former lovers and claims to have a 19 year old son fathered by Don. Don takes all of this as a joke at first but in the back of his mind, is perplexed by the idea of being a father. His next door neighbor Wilson, a private detective gives him unsolicited assistance in searching for the mysterious woman by doing all his research for him in the net. He gives Don a detailed list of his former girlfriends' houses and how to find them with Mapquest printouts.

So Don takes his journey through his past and encounters all five past flames and at the samer time gose into some sort of middle aged Sideways-type journey which will change his life and the way he views it.

Sounds like a winner huh? Well. It could have been, I can say Bill murray was amazingly melancholy in this movie. Its as if he was a different person than in other movies, even in Lost in Translation. His loneliness transcends the screen. Another great aspect of the film is the use of color. The use of pink is very significant in the story and actually is a factor you look forward to in every scene.

Films like this depend on strong imagery and great nuanced acting. Not that Bill Murray did a bad job. Most of the fault falls on the director's hands. A lot of the scenes are more dragging than melancholy. Some scenes are just plain stupid. One such scene is a very long shot of Don half sleeping in his couch. The point gets driven accross in 15 seconds but I can say that If I went to the bathroom and came back, he'd still be there.

Now I know that this movie won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year and that it got the accolades of film critics everywhere. That's exactly why I went out and bought this film. Unfortunately, a lot of critics out there are just gaga over any indie film that they just ignore the practicality of a good story told simply and without unnecessary embellishment. And a decent ending.

Rocketboy's Rating: ** (2 out of 5 stars)

check out what I got in my iPod... the Ghostbusters theme song


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