REVIEW: THE UGLY
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all content © A.E.M. Baumann
1997 (193 min)
writer: Scott Reynolds
starring: Paolo Rotondo, Rebecca Hobbs
A New Zealand film that is highly underrated on critic reviews. It is of the nature of a psychological thriller mixed with some supernatural. But I only say that to clarif this is not a serial killer movie.
What makes the film wonderful is technique. Narratively, half (at least) of the film is in flashback. But Reynolds rarely lets flashback settle into the banality of narrative: they are mostly scenes (even the extended scenes) whose purpose are to give meaning to the conversation between the killer and the psychologist that centers the film. It is very well done, very well done. Very creative, and, as importantly, very well controlled. And that, ou writers, is what to watch. How this film is put together is to be attended to.
Visuals are great all the way through, though the baddies behind the baddie don't quite work for me as well as they could. But what is superb is, again, the control of the visuals. Reynolds never goes beyond what he is capable of pulling off, and, as importantly, like above, utilizes that of which he was capable to beyond wha would result in other hands. (A point to note: the unsophisticated path is to go for a bigger bang, the sophisticated path takes what is at hand and uses it skillfully. To sa it another way, the unsophisticate use utcher knives, the sophisticated stilettos.
A definite see and see again. And learn.