17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
One of my favourite films of the last 20 years,
This review is from: In The Company Of Men [VHS]  (VHS Tape)In the Company of Men is a truly amazing film. Overlooked in many quarters, this intelligent, provocative, mind blowing analysis of the modern human condition, and the role of gender in the power play of everyday life, is given all the more power by it's lack of mainstream appeal.
It's direction and writing is inspired, and since Neil LaBute has gained quite the reputation as a exceptional filmmaker. It's low budget is not revealed in what is a sharp and attractive looking picture, driven by character and featuring some of the most amazing acting performances in recent memory.
The whole premise of it's brilliance is the reality of the piece, it lacks a happy ending, and doesn't even begin to offer redemption. Therein lies it's ability to gobsmack, it is reality. The men who manipulate, compete, those who are ruthless, they are the ones who win. It's drives heavily into a debate on moral relativity. Do we naturally take on the values and conscience percieved in our culture?, or can we rsie above such simple notions and use this as sign of others weakness for self promotion.
Undoubtedly, some scenes are hard to watch, and it's by no means a politically correct exercise in concept or execution, but neither is life, or the true art which reflects it. Aaron Eckhart's performance is just blinding, he seems to revel in the malevolent, scheming, cruel nature of his character, but he is never dumbed down, or clarified as the inane idea of wrong or bad. He answers to himself, he rises above others petty thoughts and considerations, and seems always in control, and fundamentally the situations benefactor in every way. Doesn't that therefore inbue him with a sense of righteousness?
Granted it is not for the sensitive, as it highlights the cheap weakness of big budget hollywood movies, by revealing far more emotional pain on screen than we have seen for years. It is all the more effective and respectable for it's nature and while it has been accused of misogyny and cynicism, some may say modern cinema is desperate for a bold voice, which reflects life in its surest form.
Simply put it's a masterpice of independant cinema, provoking such discussion and thought, that it restores your faith in modern cinema. Buy it, watch it, and show it to all your friends, it will truly serve the divine purpose of art, all the more neccessary in light of modern media shallowness.