This is the first of what I hope is many posts about films, both recent and not. I recently saw Cassandra's Dream, the new Woody Allen picture starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. The plot concerns two brothers, Ian (McGregor) and Terry (Farrell) who fall into financial duress. Ian is a businessman who runs his father's restaurant, but dreams of managing a hotel in California. Terry works in a garage and squanders all his money on gambling. After a short winning streak, Terry's luck falls and he loses a massive sum of money. He asks for assistance from his brother, yet Ian cannot provide the necessary funds. The brothers turn to their wealthy and established Uncle Howard. Howard is willing to give them the money, provided they make the ultimate sacrifice to prove their family loyalties. Both brothers are lured by greed, avarice, and egotism to commit the ultimate crime that leads them into a tailspin.
As I watched the film, I was reminded of Match Point, as both films share sinister plots set in London. I thought that Match Point was an utter masterpiece, so I set my expectations high for Cassandra's Dream (let's all try and forget the blunder that was Scoop). The acting by the two leads was impeccable, especially Farrell. He personifies a desperate man who is pushed to drastic deeds. The score was composed by Philip Glass, and it added another dimension to the chilling plot. The exposition was a bit slow, but by the middle of the film, I was on the edge of my seat, unsure of what would happen next. Although I enjoyed the film and it's examination of human nature, I found myself comparing it to Match Point. The similarities in plot and setting did not help. I feel a second viewing, however, would allow the viewer to grasp the nuances of Allen's style. In one scene, a group of actors discuss Greek tragedy. They reference Clytemnestra and Medea. This serves as Allen's self-referential wink to the audience, reminding us that we are indeed viewing a tragedy with similar consequences to Classical drama. Cassandra's Dream is very well-made, but if you've seen Match Point, you might experience deja vu.