Overview: An unprepared lawyer attempts to get involved with drug trafficking. 20th Century Fox; 2013 Rated R; 117 Minutes
There’s Really One Way to Do This One, Folks: Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy. Even their names like words from a lost history worn by the wind into stone tablatures. One who’s sat witness to other worldly carnage (Alien), carries with him the echo of Gladiators (Gladiator) and a vision of the soulless robotic future nigh upon us (Blade Runner). The other a sand burnt prophet who, with paper to pen, conjured up an ageless evil (Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men) and wrought destruction upon this fleeting Earth (The Road). Scott and McCarthy point our vision into a detestable world where boundary between the natural and the spoils of man is indecipherable, all material not but of wreck and decay. Sun filtering sharply through dead-steady frames and showing broken fragmented vignettes of moral rot. A man can almost smell the decomposing bits of soul as they chunk and fall from cadavers.
The Counselor himself who goes in other lives by the name of Fassbender has the lean earnestness of a man but the grit and spine of a fragile coward, no match for the wicked waters into which his greedy fingers dip. Greed, a hell of a thing, borne within the contemptible space of the heart but a thing which when pursued turns to pursuer, can rip through like a westward moving storm, destroying all who look upon its face. Cruz, Bardem, Pitt, so sharp a cast, all doomed by fate’s displeasure for their association. This all might seem to our child eyes like broken shards borrowed and glued lazy together, but we will carry it to dream and therein know the intent.
Oh we indulge the sucker punch of humor in our time spent in witness; the dumbfounded expression of Bardem when his lady gyrates in a demon dance, grinding her feminine definition against the windshield as if the hands of the devil were guiding her, certainly worth a hearty chuckle. A man ought not witness such wickedness.
And the epilogue falls too sharply from the tongue of the tight-jawed unaffected blonde beauty, an unnatural poetry, too swift a tongue for trust of the viewer.
Alright, you’ve suffered enough: That sub-par Cormac McCarthy impersonation was offered up as an allegorical review. McCarthy’s writing style (loaded language, nihilistic themes, and loose narrative) is apparent in every scene of this movie. It is, in terms of film (and film criticism), not standard and perhaps not comfortable. But, you get both visionaries’ trademarks: Ridley Scott opens his light filters and accepts his writer’s prose. For fans of film, this could be unpleasant. For fans of McCarthy, this is an exciting treat. I count myself in the second group.