By a customer
, 19 Mar 2013
No-one involved in this film took it much seriously at all, which Michael Caine, bless him, actually thinks he has to go to further lengths to spill the beans about. He is affecting a completely ham actor in a production of no merit. He is intentionally creating this really silly, artificial emotional character in a kind of pi**-take (parody) of that kind of film. It is not an emotional film because the film is bare itself but is trying to throw the emotion falsely at you. It's really silly - OK - it knows that, clearly - and is a real waste of an opportunity. This is not a film of The Cider House Rules for Irving fans. Maybe one day another movie will come along and, at least adequately, make that. This film does not do that. This film is just a wasted chance. Interspersed between sickly sweet and bare, empty scenes of dialogue and close ups of well washed faces glinting in the sunny hue (enough to make you puke), there is actually some really lovely cinematography. Unfortunately, that just shows up the film as, at best, empty, artificial, false, never meaning anything, with no spirit, dumb, a film without respect for what it purports to achieve. AND WORSE - it knows that so well. The ambition was never really there, or if there was any real ambition there, the people behind the concept just aren't smart at all. What's worse - the ambition wasn't there - but then even what could be a watchable, so-so essay in good cinematography and reasonable acting giving some interest, is ruined further. There is nothing of real, true value in this. Anything you do find that might have value is so emphemeral and transient, you just know those involved don't care less and can't manage it. They have decided to go all out for a few scenes, still not even meaning it, but pretending to carry through something with emotion. It sucks. It really sucks. This film is not really The Cider House Rules at all, for those who have read the book. One major point of the rules of the Cider House in the book is just that - they are - in real life, as much a point of interest, a point of deep human life as any. The book is saying this is not a kiddies' book sensationalised 'element' of life - but that each element of life IS and has importance. It's what you will remember, but it's not rose tinted glasses, or some amazing revolutionary episode to be discussed by people forever afterwards. No, all of life is important. The rules of the Cider House were important in and to lives - they just were - just like the cider, being grown in apples, pressed, shipped, sold, drunk. It just is. Was rather! All important - and just normal - and that is a rather lovely thing to convey in a book. The film gets it ALL wrong. And it knows that. It couldn't care less. Why should you? This is a popular film. Most Hollywood films that manage a start, middle and ending are popular, because their actors and well trained engineers and producers can pull off anything at all with a sheen. Depth, truth and artistic merit are something else entirely, however, and, unfortunately, the masses lap up and seem to prefer the depthless fodder that is much more usual from Hollywood pics. So, if you want to pass a few hours with something very artificial, depthless, and even by the end, gaudy because it does dismiss Irving's quite decent novel as a kid's story or old wives' sentimental blockbuster only. I won't try to stop you seeing it by saying more, because it is kind of a cultural phenomenon - it describes itself in the Blu Ray I saw itself (the extra features) as one of the best films ever, a modern classic. In that sense, for a real waste of a film chance, for a pretty bad film indeed, it is a big cultural phenomenon, and if you can put up with it, worth watching certainly to experience that unique cultural 'event' of great disparity. The cinematography will probably keep you watching, or at least, if you're trying hard, gget you through if you grit your teeth. But, in the end, it's not worth it genuinely. Then again, I'm not recommending you try it as a genuine film, I'm recommending you see it as a strange cultural event, something pretty appalling worth watching for that itself, for that it happened. It's not THAT bad as a film - it's not good at all - no, sir ( / madam) - far from it. But my main point is it is not The Cider House Rules, that creation by Irving, and never really considered rising to such an occasion from the start. A pretender. A vagabond, then. A brigand in the creative industries. A pile of ****.
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