Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Knife's Edge

After last night's no-show, Amy V and I were pleased to find that our foray back to the Grand Illusion tonight was not in vain; we arrived on time, as, in fact, did about eight others (a real crowd for the Grand Illusion). The show would go on!

The film was Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water, a tense drama with only three players, a married couple and the hitchhiker that the husband impetuously invites on their sailboat outing as a not-so-subtle way to prove himself to his disillusioned wife. And if you're going to show a knife in the first act, it better be used in the third... and although it was, it was not in the way I had expected. Is this good filmmaking - thwarting the expectations of the audience, yet keeping them in suspense? Or a willful disregard for Chekhov's gun principle?

But the film did remind me of a Chekhov play, full of symbolism representing the disintegration of a marriage, fighting to prove ourselves regardless of our age, and the psychological manipulation used by both sexes to test the waters around them. I can't say I enjoyed the film as one does when watching a movie merely for entertainment, but it did make me think, and sometimes that's a good thing (OK, that didn't come out quite right - thinking is always a good thing, but what I mean to say is it can be good to watch a film that forces you to mull it over, not just turn your brain off for a couple of hours).

And as a side note, the film really made me wish I was sailing! Just not with those three, of course.

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