Tuesday, February 19, 2008
the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford
i have obliged myself of writing a review of the movie, "the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford". i was lucky enough to score two tickets of the advance screening by etc 2nd avenue's 3rd row last monday at glorietta 4. i have read and heard about it from all the entertainment shows and of course my favorite new york times movie reviews. i won't be relying on that though. i have a pretty good idea of what i want to say.
the entire movie was dedicated to jesse james' last days and the circumstances that lead to his being murdered. jesse james was this outlaw, folk hero and robin hood type depending on which opinions are to asked who made his living out of robbing trains and banks in the post civil war america . a temperamental person which i can almost see some hints of restrained psychosis and sociopathic behavior. that would have been how i saw him based from the movie. some of the scenes were so shocking almost a break from the very slow pace of the entire movie. that very slow pace highlighted the violence yet in some ways the way jesse james as portrayed by brad pitt seemed so charismatically cool yet so feared by his uncontrollable outbursts. robert ford the assassin of course played by the brilliant casey affleck did so well in presenting an enigmatic stalker to jesse james. the aloof and myserious bob ford the new and eager recruit.
i always wondered why the title of the movie describes robert ford as a coward and towards the end of the movie i felt like that by killing jesse, bob ford would helped the world by getting rid of a menace. only just then that bob killed jesse for personal reasons not some mighty and noble expectations that he had reserved fo himself. he profited from the reward that the governor has put up for the arrest of jesse james and profited from how the murdered took place by staging a play around post civil war america.
the movie was beautiful, most especially the cinematography. the slow moving and sweeping shots were magnificent and the abruptness of the violent scenes higlighted the storytelling. my mom did raise this point though how would this movie attract modern viewers who are used to past paced action packed thrillers? to me while watching, it was break from this time, from the now of my life and i took a trip to another time and place to witness a piece of history and to learn something new in details, in moving pictures, in a movie where there was superb acting.