Brief Thoughts on Gerry
It's taken some time for me to sort out my feelings, but I think I am ready to talk about it. Is Gerry
a good film? In short, yes, it is very good. Did I enjoy myself while watching it? I'm not so sure. Gerry
reminded me of two other films and after reading many other reviews, lots of other people feel the same: Waiting for Godot
immediately sprung to mind as I exited a theater full of people shaking their heads bewildered by the film. The reason so many people are polarized by Gerry
is that nothing much happens for long, long stretches. The few spurts of humorous dialogue are like, well, an oasis in the desert. While the shots of the desert are beautiful, you get to admire their beauty for spells of five to ten minutes at a pop before the next minor event in the story occurs. When I reflect on the film, and the moods it evoked, I am glad I fought through it because there are so many lasting moments and images. Yet I feel I might have been able to get all of the same experience from the film had it been shortened to 45 minutes. Some shots literally go on 3 to 4 minutes longer than they should, and no matter how fantastic they are (and they are) it is just too much. Ultimately I recommend it, but it is only for a small audience that isn't expecting more than an experimental film. I totally understand Joker and Yun's enthusiasm, but casual film goers will not get around the pace. Nearly everything Joker points out in his review two weeks ago is right on. The great sequence where the walking noises build into a rythym, the strange jargon Affleck and Damon use is funny, etc. There is a fantastic scene just before the end where the colors and the angle foreshadow the climax in about the most minimalist way I have ever seen. I just wasn't prepared for how long Van Sant would throw the images at me, screaming at me to "get it". I got it, thanks, move on. Again, don't take this as a negative review, just that Gerry
has a big problem with pace that I couldn't get around and other than that it is fantastic.