Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Passenger (1975, Michelangelo Antonioni)

"A journalist decides to swap places with a dead man but begins to suffer the consequences shortly after"

i have been wanting to watch this one for a long time now and when the news came out that Antonioni had passed away I decided that this was the best to do so.

The film is much like the other 2 films I have seen from Antonioni. Its a quiet and subtle character driven drama that focuses more in the quiet actions of the character than the actual dialogue. It also showcases some bleak but always great cinematography from Antonioni once again.

The film itself is a pretty good one. Nicholson is in top form and gives what might be his most subdued performance of all time. We see everything through his character most of the time and what we see is as confusing, simple, and slow as what he sees. This whole approach the films plot is an interesting one but I am sure most people will hate it. We never really find out what exactly is going on but we guess through most of it, as Nicholson does. Its once again a unique approach but one that also fails to leave much of an impact and makes the film feel slow at times.

I cant say that I was blown away by the film, like a lot of people have been before. I can say though that I admired the film a lot. The overall approach, the cinematography, the performances, and especially the final tracking shot are all things that you can not help but admire. However, its not the kind of film that I can see myself watching again anytime soon.

The only film that I can compare it to is Walkabout. Both amazing films in their own way but both films that left me not wanting more for a long time.

- B+

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