Montag, 8. September 2014
Venice Film Festival: Burying the Ex / Court
"Burying the Ex" is a lifeless, biteless, incredibly generic thing that in no way lives up to the name of its maker, horror maestro Joe Dante. Helping itself to an assortment of genre clichés and ha-ha one-liners, it's lazily plotted and, as a zom-rom-com, neither scary nor romantic. It doesn't work as a parody of those traditions either, lacking the necessary intensity of cinematic language. So it ends up being this very predictable, very tame, mildly amusing wannabe joker dying of lethargy. Lead actor Anton Yelchin is probably not at fault here, even if he doesn't exactly win you over with any fresh on-screen creation. Ashley Greene, on the other hand, confirms she's one the least gifted actresses out there, managing to be forcefully unmenacing, unfunny, uninteresting all at the same time. Her zombie ex-girlfriend is the centerpiece, the raison d'être of this movie, so it's hard to get people to care when her presence is as non-existent as it is. Everything in the tech department, from sound to special effects make-up, is unremarkable. Not even horror fans just seeking to get their fill would be happy with this one. .
"Court" is a somewhat bulkily written but beautifully directed legal drama that, belying this simplified categorization, extends its concern beyond the criminal dispute at its heart to the lives of all parties involved. Indian writer/director Chaitanya Tamhane is a skillful storyteller, setting up a distinctive stage as he introdruces the central figure in the possibly incendiary folk music singer, upping the stakes along the way as he presents the justice system in the country governed by archaic, politically motivated statutes, and then flesh out his characters as he regularly visits their off-courtroom life, allowing the viewer to observe them from a completely different angle. Marked by creativity, daring and a level-headed efficiency, the direction elevates the story from a single case to a broader narrative, a common cause, a big picture. The editing is just as great, knowing where to let the scenes breathe and how to jump cut to the most impactful next frame, surprising yet always reasoned. Technically raw but boasting a realism that's not mocking or sentimental, this is the kind of effort that shows promise in a first-time filmmaker.