Action Movies, by Ajay Singh, 24 March 2011

Director: William Monahan

Stars: David Thewlis, Colin Farrell, Eddie Marsan, Keira Knightley, Jamie Campbell Bower, Ophelia Lovibond, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Ben Chaplin, Anna Friel

Country: USA | UK

Runtime: 103 min

Release Date:

Language: English

The novel, by well-known Irish writer Ken Bruen was praised for its dark, uncompromising view of life, hard-edged dialogue, and thrilling plot. This was to be expected from the Irish noir king. What was expected from William Monahan, an Oscar winning writer himself, was a deep understanding and thoughtful interpretation of the literary material he was working with. The result of his effort is an excellent example of what some filmmakers tend to forget. A film is not a piece of literature with moving illustrations. It is a piece of visual art. Literature must be translated onto the screen by means of the director’s vision, light, sets, camera, etc.. We do not see it happening in this film.

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

It is very possible that the screenplay had some merits, but the film is killed by the visuals, or rather the lack thereof. Every frame of this film is a thriller/gangster cliché. It was probably doomed before it was shot. If we start with the cast, which does have some good names in it, we will see predominantly type casting, which does not challenge the actors. A pretty, confused, emotionally charged young woman, is what Knightly usually does.  She is so in love with her slender figure, her cute mannerisms, her watery deer eyes, and sexy, slightly parted full lips that it keeps her busy most of the time. As a reclusive film star she is at her best. Farrell, as a disturbed outlaw trying to understand himself and find meaning in life is also a well-known and frequently created image (which does not include his Alexander the Great). There is no chemistry between them because each is doing his or her own thing on autopilot.

Bright light is good for seeing things, but it is not good when you want to create a dark atmosphere of drama and suspense. In the case of this film we see everything, more than we would like to. Sets work well when they reflect the mood of the scene or characters, which was forgotten in this case. Costumes, hair and make-up cannot be mentioned as they were not present in the film. It is an interesting way of cutting down the budget.

By the end of the film you forget that its title is not There Will Be Blood. There much more blood in it than in the above-mentioned film. Probably, the director felt some lack of darkness in the film and decided to pour in some buckets of fake blood to make it more “noir”. This gives one the idea that the cinematographer was color blind, because this technique makes the film more “rouge”.

May be William Monahan should go back to writing, which he does well, and Keira Knightly should think about becoming a tiny bit less charming and beautiful, as it may help her with what is called “acting”.

London Boulevard Videos

London Boulevard Trailer

London Boulevard Stills

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

London Boulevard

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