“Fuck the thing!”
So I’ve finished the first of the “Death Trilogy” by Gus Van Sant by watching Gerry. I’ve seen the film once before. I watched it when I was in middle school I believe. It was one of those movies my mom picked out from the library to watch. To clue you in; my mom has a tendency to pick horrible movies. They are generally the most obscure things ever. And she never watches them, because she always falls asleep. I watched it with my parents and we were most amused. Watching it then, we were so amazed at how dull it was and it has been a joke to us ever since. For us it has been defined as the worst movie and is the butt of jokes for us.
I’ve read some thing on IMBD and other places. A lot of people seemed to have similar feelings to my parents and myself. There were also a number of people who loved it. So I went into watching this again with very low expectations, though I was hopping it would prove to be better than my first viewing. It was. Sort of.
The movie is simply about two guys, Matt Damon and Casey Afleck, who get lost in the desert. Really that should clue you in to what the movie is like. There’s a lot of walking around and not much that really happens. For a movie that is 1 hour and 40 minutes long, it seems much much longer. There’s probably one or two pages maybe of dialogue for the entire film. The majority of it consists of shots of the scenery or them walking.
Now the cinematography is beautiful. The landscape is beautiful to me and i actually enjoyed watching them walking around for a bit. By the time you’ve watched an hour of this though, it just gets dull. It’s also at this point where the dialogue (what littler there is) stops. I feel like the last forty minutes had maybe two lines and that occurred at the end of the film. There is also one sequence that was roughly ten minutes that was a simple close up of Matt and Casey in profile walking. That was it. Just that steady shot of them walking and nothing else, but the few facial expressions they made and the sound of their walking.
That is pretty much what kills the movie. For most it is to artsy. And in a time where people have extremely short attention spans, it is hard to sit through and not get bored.
Personally I want to like it more than I do. Both the actors and director are amazing, but not here really. They don’t really show off their talent. It’s also a really interesting concept. I saw a drawing in a museum in Boston once that was simple a square rectangle drawn and filled in with a black charcoal pencil. I, like many people, said “I could do that. I’ve actually done that.” That is what this film brings to mind for most people. Anyone can take a camera and follow two guys walking around.
I suppose I’ll get to the positives, besides it looking pretty. Really it is realistic. If two guys got lost in the desert this would probably be pretty accurate. I’m sure if I was on some drugs or drunk I may get a trip out of watching the film, but at this point no.
Basically it is a very beautiful looking film, but defiantly not for most people, myself included. I will watch this again, but who knows when. I feel like its one of those movies that will slowly grow on me and will work in times when I need some soul searching.
The trailer pretty much sums up the entire movie.