We use cookies to make sure our website better meets your expectations.
You can adjust your web browser's settings to stop accepting cookies. For further information, read our cookie policy.
IN Warsaw
Exchange Rates
Warsaw Stock Exchange - Indices
The Warsaw Voice » Culture » May 7, 2008
Film review
You have to be logged in to use the ReadSpeaker utility and listen to a text. It's free-of-charge. Just log in to the site or register if you are not registered user yet.
Cassandra's Dream
May 7, 2008   
Article's tools:

Woody Allen seems to be enamored of the British Isles judging from his last few films. Match Point, (2005) tells the twisted tale of a young and ambitious London tennis coach prepared to kill his lover to marry into a wealthy family.

Scoop (2006) is about a young American journalist who becomes embroiled in an affair with a British aristocrat while following up a lead in a series of mysterious crimes. In Cassandra's Dream (2007), the American veteran of intellectual cinema has written and directed a story about two brothers who become entangled in an intrigue which ultimately overwhelms them and sets them against each other. Cassandra's Dream, like Allen's previous two movies, relies on an elaborate plot and standout performances from a cast who have to shed their familiar on-screen personas.

Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Black Hawk Down, Star Wars series) seldom winds up being cast as a baddie. Putting Young Adam (2003) to one side, Michael Bay's sci-fi flick The Island (2005) had shown McGregor at his most unlikable until now. In that film, he played the dual role of a ruthless businessman and his clone who had commissioned a source of "spare parts" for his body.

This time round, McGregor plays Ian, a young man whose small-time restaurateur father wants him to take over the family business one day. Ian has set his sights a lot higher but has to make do with picking up women by posing as a successful businessman until his first big break comes along. He scores with an attractive actress after borrowing a luxury car from his brother Terry, who works in a garage.

Terry (Colin Farrell-Alexander, Miami Vice) has a habit of finding himself in dire financial straits. Unlike Ian, whose frailty is "vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself," the source of Terry's woes is a powerful gambling addiction. Despite Irishman Farrell's track record for playing everything from minor miscreants to master criminals (Phone Booth, Minority Report and In Bruges ought to give the idea), Terry is the one who has the greater qualms about accepting a proposal that will change the brothers' lives forever.

Enter uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson-In the Bedroom, The Full Monty, The Patriot, The Ghost and the Darkness), a rich and powerful man whose success has long been a source of envy to others in the family. Howard has come to ask a big favor in return for helping out his less resourceful relatives. His business dealings are under investigation and an old business partner is planning to testify against him. Howard wants someone to help his erstwhile partner "shuffle off this mortal coil" and he's prepared to pay handsomely. The two brothers will be set up for life if they take him up on his offer.

As with Match Point, Allen drops misleading clues as the story unfolds, although the comedy is more liberally sprinkled here, recalling Scoop. Cassandra's Dream looks like a typical comedy of errors at times. But Allen, who inserts repeated references to classical Greek tragedy, including the film's title, is never far away from reminding us that the choices his characters make have tragic dimensions and irreversible consequences. The two brothers have to answer the same question that Match Point posed: "How far will you go to make your dreams come true?"
© The Warsaw Voice 2010-2018
E-mail Marketing Powered by SARE