tcc: roman polanski – wanted and desired

January 11, 2009

i was really hoping that the film was going to probe into the psyche of polanski, the psyche of the girl, and dig into the deeper questions of why what actually happened, happened.  but the film isn’t interested in that.  it’s more interested in the concrete.  the case.  the media frenzy.  the judge.  the prosecutors.  the girl.  and roman.

i actually was surprised as to how much there really was to the case.  i mean a lot of crazy stuff happens, and it’s really interesting to hear the attorneys and reporters speaking candidly about the going-ons.  if you are like me, and didn’t know any of the real specifics of the case, than the film is really quite interesting.  it really delves into every detail about the case and what roman was doing and how he was reacting to the circumstances.  the real standout character of the film is not roman polanski, but the judge of the case (whom we never meet in present time because he died 10 years back).  the way people talk about him, his attitudes and his actions, really take the film from something that would be boring to something way more interesting.  if you don’t know the circumstances i don’t want to ruin it for you, but the man does some very questionable things pertaining to the case.

and while i think it’s entertaining and somewhat thought provoking to learn about the case details and the events, the film falls short of finding something truly moving or thought gripping.  the first fault we get is we never get to hear polanski talk to the camera.  we have interviews with everyone else involved with the case (or everyone that’s alive), but not polanski.  i’m sure the filmmakers tried to get him to interview for the film, and he turned it down so i can’t completely rag on them for not having it, but that element would have pushed the film much farther up the scale.  also (i can’t be 100% sure, but) the questions they asked the girl seemed very conservative.  they didn’t try to pry at her side of the story, but more her reactions to the events.  i was still wanting to know exactly how all this could have taken place when the film is moving on to how the media covered the story.  i wanted to see the filmmakers really pry at the girl and try to get deeper than they already did.

and that goes for the rest of the film as well.  the film is sort of holding back as to what could make an immensely entertaining and provocative film, and more or less settled for the case facts.  but that’s not to say that it’s not interesting.  it is very interesting, i’m just mildly disappointed that they didn’t go for more.

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it might have been a little premature to post a schedule for januray (but when have i ever followed those things exactly?).  i want to focus on catching up on 2008 films for my filmspot nomination ballot, and the library still hasn’t gotten full metal jacket to me (platoon is sitting next to the dvd player waiting to go).  so we’ll see.  maybe hitchcock month will have to spill over into february.  i shouldn’t have to wait for the dvds though thanks to 2 christmases ago’s awesome gifts.

if you’re curious what’s on cue for 2008 films to catch up with: son of rambow, the fall, the band’s visit, changeling, gonzo: the life and work of hunter s. thompson, beaufort, kid a, 4 months 3 weeks 2 days, still life, and heartbeat detector (and that’s just what i have waiting for me at home.  a lot more on request).

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