The Last Wave 5/10
Another of Peter Weir’s films that doesnt hang together, it seems stagey and wooden, perfomances come over as people acting rather than characters, a few moody aboriginals acting reasonably well or mute enough not to detect their acting inabilitys ? But really Richard Chamberlain his wife / family and other assorted actors somehow manage to ruin the idea of this film with acting that seems of its era rather than timeless, having a certain 70’s made for Tv quality to it, not that the idea of the film is particularly well executed though out. It looks to me like a film that only just made into existence by some judicious and desperate editing to clothe the bones of something that was effectively anemic from the start. Im sure Peter Weir was happy to get this film finished, edited, released and behind him.
I like jeff bridges, but im beginning to realise that hes one of these actors that just plays himself allot of the time, he just rolls out jeff bridges and most directors love it, in fearless as a character you can see the acting more than the character when jeff is doing his thing, the plot logic has holes in it nothing too major, the best scene in the film is the final one with airplane ripping apart which is pretty well envisioned. the reason why this film doesnt work for me is this, since the film is about him being fearless post an airplane crash he survives, perhaps it would have been more dramatic if he was the only survivor ? then he might really think he was chosen or special ?, but since half the people on the plane seemed to have made it out alive and hardly tarnished apart from being a bit sweaty and grubby in what from a crash perspective, looks non survivable for 95% of the people, and the other 5% should be half burn’t or seriously injured its all a bit wierd. And this opening scene sets the film up badly in my opinion, I initially thought that half the characters surving the plane crash where in fact responders to it as they were all too clean, it didnt look like half of them had been through a plane crash at all. There are in fact story of plane crashes in which their is a single survivor, so its not unrealistic to take the plot to that extreme. some of the plot stuff works most of it seems a bit awkward, the strawberrys are awkward, anaphylactic shock is not alterable by purely mental processes and the extreme change of mental state in relation to family and children might be realistic, but only in a very small number of crash survivors, and seems a bit heavily engineered into the plot when so may other people also survive the crash ?
The Way Back 8/10
With age comes experience and this film executes well on its promises, though the journey itself is so long, a journey of 4000 miles across all terrains, towards the end of the film they seem to be hopping across from one kind of terrrain to the next with some of the food and water finding seemingly skipped lightly over, its so epic a real journey that you realise toward the end, the film can barely do it justice, as the film accelerates to try and cover more ground rather artifically to get to the endpoint of the film, the characters are well played, Colin farrel restrains himself enough not to come of as some charicature of himself and is reasonably beleivable as the russian street criminal, and the idea he cant leave the russian border is kinda nicely done, the final montage which again accelerates the pace of the final traveller over the years of history to eventually reach “the wayback” to the house and the key and his wife, seems a to trivialise the emotional experience of those intervening years between exiting india and reaching poland again, but really this is such an epic story that, trying to capture said years on film is very difficult, but could have been done better, as evidenced by the aging montage in UP in which 40 years of existence is done in 3 minutes and the emotional height is raised sufficiently to account for that passage of time. So for me i guess a central issue in this film would be the way the material of the plot is rushed through toward the end, ie the pacing could be better, but overall this film is the best Peter Weir film i’ve see so far, and is basically a must see.