Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

June 12, 2012

Movie Review: W./E. (2011)

Many of us would roll our eyes at the thought of en entertainer jumping from one form of media to another, or from one job to another, such as when an actor directs. I certainly did when I saw Rhianna in the trailer for Battleship. Believe me, it wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last. It's unfair, really, considering all of the stars that have done a great job in different realms. Laugh if you will, but that list includes Bernie Mac, Ben Affleck, Fred Savage, Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Weird Al Yankovic, Kevin Smith and countless others. The fact is that if someone is talented in one way, there is a great chance that person will have other talents. It's true that some people are only good at one thing, but I don't know if that's the case with Madonna. Her first movie, W./E., might be a good indication of things to come for her, but it's also an indication of what can happen when you take on too much at once.

Please don't think I'm bashing Madonna. I watched this wanting to give her a chance. After all, she didn't get to be one of the biggest pop stars of all time based on luck. She has talent. She's smart enough to have evolved throughout her career in order to stay relevant. The previously mentioned Weird Al even pointed out that Lady Gaga is nothing more than a Madonna ripoff. She's an icon in music, plain and simple. I say that not even being a fan of pop music, but her career must be recognized. Let's not forget that she was married to Guy Ritchie for many years, and some of his filmmaking techniques had to be discussed around the house. Enough about Madonna. Let's get into the movie.

The movie centers around a young woman who is obsessed with the story of the love affair between Wallis Simpson and England's King Edward VIII. The young woman spends time in a New York auction house studying the items up for bid from the historic couple's estate. The story of Wallis and Edward is told through imagined flashbacks in the young woman's mind. The woman's story is also a part of the movie, and it is nothing short of a Lifetime movie of the week classic. She's unhappily married to a rich doctor who drinks and abuses her. Oh, he also cheats on her, we assume. Man = bad. Woman = sympathetic heroine. An employee at the auction house befriends her. He is ethnic, has an accent, makes her laugh, is troubled by the death of his wife and child, lives a humble life and plays piano beautifully. They fall in love. They are poor, but they have each other, and probably a huge alimony check. I swear, a watercolor of Fabio should have been on the cover of this DVD.

The story is terrible. It drags on forever, has no real purpose and no entertainment value. It's fluff. The title is worse. I wouldn't really know what to call it. How do you tell someone to watch W period slash E period? The visual aspect of the film is great. The sets and costumes are beautiful. The direction, however, was reminiscent of the many short indie films I've seen or been a part of. Sometimes a director's experimental shots work, and sometimes they look clumsy and self-serving. This didn't go on for the entirety of the movie, which almost made it worse. the few odd shots were so out of place and weird.

The movie is definitely not worth watching, unless you actually do like the Lifetime channel. I can imagine my mom liking this, but I did grow up looking at a bookshelf of the type of novels that did sport those Fabio watercolors on the cover. It's just not good. I would give Madonna another chance, believe it or not. If she directed someone else's script and didn't play around with the camera shots, I'd be up for it. Being married to an innovative director does not make you one. You can't fuck somebody talented. It just doesn't work that way. I'm pretty sure I'd have the same assessment of Guy Ritchie's first pop album.

No comments:

Post a Comment