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Beautifully photographed but too depressing,
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This review is from: The Swimmer [DVD]  (DVD)
My husband and I are great Burt Lancaster fans but found this movie disappointing. It is permeated by an air of unreality. To begin with, everything seems perfect. Lancaster's character is naive and unconvincing and keeps on repeating what a glorious, warm, cloudless day it is. He decides to swim home via the neighbours' swimming pools, and sets off under a cloudless blue sky in the beautiful surroundings of his wealthy neighbours' properties. He is warmly welcomed by the first groups and begged to spend some time in their company. The daughter of one of the neighbours, a gullible teenager, accompanies him for part of the way home, but then takes fright at his wild promises and exaggerated concern regarding her. The attitude of the neighbours, whose property he crosses, gradually changes from friendly and warm-hearted to indifferent and finally to downright hostile. At the same time the sky gradually starts to cloud over as the reality regarding the main character and his relationship with his wife and daughters, as well as friends and business associates is revealed. As he approaches home, the storm finally breaks and he arrives at the dilapidated ruin of a place in pouring rain. The parallel between the gradual change in the weather and the hero's fortunes is strikingly depicted but the end is just too harrowing and depressing for words and leaves the viewer with a drained, empty feeling.
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Initial post: 9 Dec 2013 23:06:38 GMT
Last edited by the author on 9 Dec 2013 23:07:48 GMT
Mr Baz says:
I agree it's very depressing. I believe this may reflect the Author to a point though, whom I gather had some issues with alcohol and depression in his own life.
Cheever actually makes a brief cameo in the movie.
It's certainly not a film that fills you with hope and joy, the ending is very much against the grain for films of this era (no hero here, no winning or celebration: completely the reverse) I do think though, that it makes quite a significant impact and we're unlikely to see this type of film again. Credit to Cheever for something quite unique, daring and completely off the wall. Very clever concept and story telling. It's a film I know some people love, and some hate. I do think it's a strangely compelling experience, both in the book and on screen.
Do watch it a few more times though. I found it a bit too much to take in the first time I saw it, and it stands repeated viewings very well.
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