The genre may not be in fashion but the film is great
, 05 Aug 2012
An easy film in this cynical day and age to dismiss with the silly modern phrases that I read on this site : daft phrases such as 'chickflicks' , 'cheesy', 'the girlfriend liked it' and all the other
'blokey' rubbish that has become trendy and much copied.
Whatever became wrong with showing emotions, especially when it comes to music, films, paintings or other creative arts?
It's still evident among strong men who , at the time of writing this review, are crying as they win Olympic Medals or who stand on the podium hearing their National Anthems. Good. Long may people be strong enough to show emotions.
And 'Meet Joe Black' is all about aiming all its power towards our emotions, bringing pure escapism as cinema was originally invented to achieve, to 'move' us and to provide sheer enjoyment.
I enjoy any and every genre of cinema. We all have our personal favourite genres ( mine is the suspense thriller ) but anyone who loves films will watch and appreciate the best of any type of film.
And I believe 'Meet Joe Black' reaches the heights of the genre that we can basically call 'romantic drama'.
A genre that gave us so many great films such as 'Random Harvest', 'Letter From An Unknown Woman' and others, mainly from yesteryear. In the old times , they were often called 'weepies':). And why not ? We're supposed to laugh, so we watch comedies. We were meant to be kept on the edge of our seats by Alfred Hitchcock . We were meant to tap our feet as we watch Fred and Ginger from long ago or recently 'The Boat That Rocked' (reminding us of the 60s).
And we were meant to have our heartstrings tugged by emotional stories such as 'Meet Joe Black'. Many attempts have been made over the 100 years or so of cinema, some succeed.........this film succeeds.
All the technical aspects of the movie are 'spot-on' : director, script, photography and acting. I am no big fan of Brad Pitt but I take my hat off to him for his wonderfully self-effacing performance in this film, especially as he is onscreen continually with a truly great actor of a generation or two above him ( in the form of the ever-excellent Anthony Hopkins ).
But the whole film relies on its ability to achieve its aim of successfully 'pulling off' the difficult task of making an escapist storyline tug at our heartstrings and move our emotions.
IMHO, it succeeds against many odds eg. it's nearly 3 hours long, it is obviously a prime target for the cynics who now seem so rife, and it is not a genre which is in 'fashion' lately.
So it is even more remarkable that the film is so excellent.
Perhaps unbelievable stories such as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or Superman are what cinema was invented
for : to transport us away from the realism of everyday life.
I think cinema was made for such escapism; we can leave 'realism' to 'Eastenders' and its cinematic copies.
I recommend 'Meet Joe Black' as a great film of its type.
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