222 words on Films
David Cronenberg left quite an impression with his films eXistenZ and a supposedly impossible film for William S. Burrough’s Naked Lunch (and a more average impression with Crash), so I was keen to see his new film A History of Violence.
It’s about a nice guy, Tom, with a nice family in a nice American small town selling nice coffee in a nice diner until some gangsters walk in and threaten him, unleashing his past which enables him to defend himself and his customers leaving the gangsters dead in the process. So he’s the hero of the day and it starts looking like he might not be as nice and harmless a guy as it originally seemed. Particularly when some mafia-guys start showing up hinting at Tom’s past in their business which he eventually kills off ruining his reputation with his own family in the process.
The film isn’t as dark and twisted as Cronenberg’s name and the ‘Violence’ in the title suggest. But it’s not exactly happy either. It shows very well how violence stays around once you’ve invited it into your life – a point of view that seems plausible but would probably be worth discussing. It also contains fifteen minutes or so of Tom going to Philadelphia to visit his old ‘friends’ which I could’ve done without.
But then you would have missed William Hurt in a classic role!
I would have happily done that. I didn’t like his role too much. And didn’t think his acting was outstanding either.
Not that I’m good at remembering people, but checking IMDB and seeing that he played in that bad Dune series as well as in Lost in Space suggests that it might be hard to make me a William Hurt fan.