Saturday, January 22, 2011
The Soloist: A Film Review...
If ever there was an example of a pretentious disaster, this is it.
With a story that goes no where and can't decide what it wants to be--Is it a critique of how White America has failed Black America? Is it a thinly veiled attack on GW Bush? Is it an attempt to get Jamie Foxx and/or Robert Downey Jr. an Oscar? Just what is the point here?
Truth is, there is no point. Taking some of Hollywood's most persistent and annoying cliches--what we have here is the selfish, well to do, progressive white character trying his best to "save" the poor, disturbed, broken but talented and heroic black character and ultimately learning more about himself than about the person he is trying to save...Zzzzzzzz...
Jamie Foxx comes off as his previous film character, Ray Charles, except this time dressed in funny hats and draped in tinfoil. Downey? He's a one note character who waffles between two emotions--anger and annoyance--which just annoyed ME even more.
I really have to blame the director more than anyone as the film has no beginning, no middle and no end. There is no story arc and is merely a number of scenes strung together to show just how ugly, disgusting and pathetic both Los Angeles and American society as a whole is. The whites are relegated to their ivory towers of wealth and privilege while the blacks are ignored and left like wild, drugged out animals in the streets.
The film apparently used a number of actual homeless individuals in the filming to fill the roles of various supporting characters and also cost over $60MM to make, most of which went to pay Foxx and Downey. Only an American film helmed by a dolt of a British director would create a boring, pointless, cliche, pedantic tale designed to make us all feel bad about how white society treats some of the "underclass" and spend $60MM almost entirely to upper class white and already well off actors/technicians to do so.
Wouldn't that $60MM have been better off spent on helping those we are supposed to feel bad for here, get clean, educated and employed rather than creating the bloated, intellectual abortion of a guilt trip that this film became?