For some reason, I was avoiding this movie like a plague. I didn't watch it in the cinema, I was busy when I rented the DVD, and I plainly hate the premise. I've never been very comfortable with the whole racism story. Give me gay love story, sex, murder, violence, action, and so on... Beside horror, I don't like another "educational" movie. I know a lot of people like this movie, so bear with me and let me explain it.
Several stories interweave during two days in L.A involving a collection of inter-related characters: a police detective (Don Cheadle), two car thieves (Larenz Tate and Ludacris), a district attorney and his wife (Brendan Fraser and Sandra Bullock), a veteran cop (Matt Dillon), a young cop (Ryan Phillipe), a Hollywood director and his wife (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton), a Persian immigrant father (Shaun Toub), and a Hispanic locksmith (Michael Peña), with many more. Directed by Paul Haggis.
So many characters and storylines, I lost track in some of them and totally didn't care much about them. Whose dead, whose being harrashed, whose racists, and blah blah. Yeah, we get it; racism is BAD. And this movie is desperately want to proof something about how people no matter how good nice they are, deep down inside they are racist and prejudice to one another. The purpose of a film like this should be to promote the fact that race should not really be an issue in these situations, but by making it the sole focus of every scene, doesn't it become innately racist itself? Characters walk around spouting their philosophies and conveniently memorised statistics on race relations as though they're regurgitating extracts from the research essay they've just written. It's utterly unconvincing and obvious. A film should reveal its meaning gradually, not slap us in the face with it in the opening scenes and then shoved the whole thing down our throat.
This film is as crassly manipulative as it is vapid. I admit I have my own prejudices with people, but I don't sprout it like an ignorant bigot. The key here is tolerance towards people whether you like them or not. I'm not a saint, and nobody's perfect, but this movie spoon-feeds and try to educate us instead just inform us with general knowledge, it angers me. I like "Syriana" better because instead of educating us about terrorism and oil industry, they informed us.Yes, the acting from these actors are superb, no doubt about that. Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard are marvelous and remarkable actors and they deserve their Oscar nod nominations. But does this movie deserve an Oscar for the Best Picture? It's debatable, and I was shocked when they beat "Brokeback Mountain". This movie is nothing but Hollywood interpretation about racism, with their pretty actors and false realism. An after-school special for the unthinking masses, cut into overwrought ham-fisted pieces to swallow without too much introspection.
Due to my hectic schedule, I will not be able to review all new movies every week. I apologize. I will however review some older movies from DVDs from time to time. Thank you for understanding.
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