I was disappointed by Panic Room
. It´s a film about the syntax of digital filmmaking, cold, mechnical, visibly disinterested in its characters. Being titled after a steel grave is pretty apt. Its characters are complete zeros (except Forest Whitaker who fills his piece of cardboard with warm, humane emphatic gestures: his discontent at being forced to speak faster in emergency situations; his cool, professional, assured handling of tools with his mind drifting somwhere else); its stylistic excesses, unlike De Palma´s or Argento´s, have no connection to the emotions of the characters. Worse: the fluidity of the camera work undermines the central conceit of Koepp´s blunder of a script, eliminates the sharp delineation of inside and ouside. The malleability of any material for the camera discards the claustrophobic aspect (as Foster´s is discarded, tsk-tsk, as many other things, during the plot); it doesn´t help that Fincher fails to establish a solid topology of the apartment. For the opposite - a funny, warm, curious look at the digital image - look no farther than the best film of 2002 so far, Michael Snow´s Corpus Callosum
. What remains in generic rubble is a yuppie´s nightmare, punctuated by two Kubrick quotes that illuminate the whole idea: The Shining
is not allowed, The Killing
Shroomy may be pleased to hear that I liked Monsoon Wedding
, though; at least as far as I can bring myself to like the very definition of a solid arthouse crowd pleaser. (I certainly never looked at my watch as I did a few times during Panic Room
). The are sharp characterizations, there´s inventive use of colors, there are good music numbers and the whole globalization point is quite interesting. Yet although it does a good job at approximating Bollywood, it lacks the Hindi metropole´s zaniness, its potential for freewheeling frenzy. Probably what I hold against it the most is that its music numbers are (necessarily) plot motivated: it kills the magic. That said, it´s eminently worth seeing.