Review- To Kill a Man

Lest I sound like I’m sitting here griping about cultural vegetables after yesterday’s post and today’s which include similar conclusions about films that are rather different, but have been pigeonholed similarly for the purposes of the American market. There are certainly past examples of my enjoying films that don’t fit the Classical Hollywood Style to a great extent. Perhaps the most noticeable over the past few years has been this film. So what is it here that rings a bit hollow.

Jorge (Daniel Candia) middle-class family man whose neighborhood has become overrun by a fringe class of street thugs. Jorge’s teenage son, Jorgito (Ariel Mateluna), boldly tries to stand up for his father, which only serves to unleash the bully’s terrorizing reign of threats upon the family. Jorge and his wife, Martha (Alejandra Yañez), seek protection from the legal system but they remain vulnerable. As Jorge’s family suffers from fear and humiliating anguish, the situation paints him as a deficient patriarch-until he’s cornered into defending what’s his.

Much of this is established before the thrust of the film is embarked upon, this being incited by the thug, Kalule (Daniel Antivilo), being released from prison. The initial set-up is simple and quietly menacing, the inability of conventional means to stop this crook is predictable and lacking drama. It merely being a table-setting scene makes it OK the decisions later on are where the lack of impact is felt.

The reason this is so is that there is a very naturalistic, visually distant, abundantly real-time approach to the proceeding following the zenith of suspense in the film. The film does not quite fall into a paint-by-numbers approach but it instead realities instead on the realities of a not entirely unique scenario to build the impact and staunchly refuses non-diegetic amplification of stakes and emotions consciously. Which mean the soundtrack is natural or sound effects lacking score wherever possible. The wide shot, all-too-absent from most cinema is in the forefront seeking to communicate the time and space Jorge has to interact with as he copes with his decisions.

Aberrant event in his nature aside the film tries to work with this reverse notion of the break in the routine occurring early and the change in tenor it takes later. Compare this (again if you will) to something like Cannibal the mundane carries wait because the quotidian activities of that protagonist are typically far out of the norm. Here the return of the norm post departure is not heightened nearly as much.

Thus, it should be clear that as a thriller it does not work in my estimation. Does it work then as a drama, especially considering the fact that drama is the foundation of all other genres? It comes closer but it ends in such a way such that it doesn’t fully explore its potential and instead leaves one wondering about the form of the story wondering: as it’s based on real events, would it not work better as a documentary? To not try and implement my own creativity on the film I acknowledge it comes close, but for the approach taken it felt it lacked a button to fully connect.

5/10

Advertisements

2014 BAM Award Considerations – November

I decided that with the plethora of BAM Awards-related post towards the end of 2013 and the start of this year it was best to wait to the end of this month before officially recommencing the process.

I will post these lists towards the end of the month to allow for minimal updates. By creating a new post monthly, and creating massive combo files offline, it should make the process easier for me and more user-friendly for you, the esteemed reader. Enjoy.

Eligible Titles

I Am Yours
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Apaches
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Halbschatten
Pants on Fire
To Kill a Man
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Interstellar
Big Hero 6
A Life in Dirty Movies
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Santa Hunters
Horrible Bosses 2
The Theory of Everything
The Babadook
Spud 2: The Madness Continues
A Christmoose Story

Best Picture

Big Hero 6

Best Foreign Film

I Am Yours
Apaches
Halbschatten
To Kill a Man
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
A Christmoose Story

Best Documentary

A Life in Dirty Movies

Most Overlooked Film

As intimated in my Most Underrated announcement this year, I’ve decided to make a change here. Rather than get caught up in me vs. the world nonsense and what a film’s rating is on an aggregate site, the IMDb or anywhere else, I want to champion smaller, lesser-known films. In 2011 with the selection of Toast this move was really in the offing. The nominees from this past year echo that fact. So here, regardless of how well-received something is by those who’ve seen it, I’ll be championing indies and foreign films, and the occasional financial flop from a bigger entity.

Apaches
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
A Life in Dirty Movies
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
A Christmoose Story

Best Director

Apaches
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
A Christmoose Story

Best Actress

Amrita Acharia I Am Yours
Devery Jacobs Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Anne Ratte-Polle Halbschatten
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Felicity Jones The Theory of Everything
Essie Davis The Babadook

Best Actor

Matthew McConaghuey Interstellar
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actress

Rabia Noreen I Am Yours

Best Supporting Actor

Ola Rapace I Am Yours
Arjan Ederveen A Christmoose Story

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Claudia Vega Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Dana Goldberg A Christmoose Story


Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Steven Perry Pants on Fire
Raul Rivas Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Daniel CerezoZip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Noah Wiseman The Babadook
Dennis Reinsma A Christmoose Story

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Mackenzie Foy Interstellar

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Prince Singh I Am Yours
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Lenard Proxauf Halbschatten
Joshua J. Ballard Pants on Fire
Timothée Chalamet Interstellar
Marcos RuizZip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Oliver Payne The Theory of Everything

Best Cast

I Am Yours
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gan
Horrible Bosses 2
The Theory of Everything
Spud 2: The Madness Continues
A Christmoose Story

Best Youth Ensemble

Apaches
Pants on Fire
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Santa Hunters
The Theory of Everything

Best Original Screenplay

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Big Hero 6

Best Adapted Screenplay

Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
A Christmoose Story

Best Score

<emThe Strange Color of Your Body's Tears
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Theory of Everything
A Christmoose Story

Best Editing

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Interstellar

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang

Best Cinematography

The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Interstellar
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Theory of Everything
A Christmoose Story

Best Art Direction

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Babadook

Best Costume Design

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Theory of Everything

Best Makeup

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Theory of Everything

Best Visual Effects

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Babadook
A Christmoose Story

Best (Original) Song

“The Hanging Tree The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
“Immortals” Big Hero 6
Choir Spud 2: The Madness Continues