Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Case for Being There

Actually, Being There is another movie (with Peter Sellers), but I’m Not There is the theme for this blog, a film about the many lives and faces of Bob Dylan.

The film takes the idea that everyone does show different faces, has different ideas and ideals, at different times in our lives and literally gives various phases of Bob Dylan’s life to different actors. Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett… those are the ones whose names I know off the top of my head, but the final 2 of these get the most screen time.

I had heard that Cate Blanchett gave an uncanny portrayal of Bob Dylan, but I have to admit, as I don’t really know Bob Dylan and his mannerisms, to me, she looked like Cate Blanchett acting like someone else. The same can be said for the rest of the actors, though perhaps that is more a reflection on my knowledge or lack thereof.

It was a long film, over 2 hours, and there were some more esoteric sequences that dragged because of it. Again, because of my lack of understanding of the life of Bob Dylan, I found the scattered recollections of his life very hard to pick up and thread together into a coherent picture. Chaos was one of the recurring themes in Dylan’s life (or at least, a part of one or two of his lives), and it was impressive seeing this much star wattage put together into a fairly fluid film by, from the number of “in association with” credits at the start of the movie (5 minutes duration right there), a fairly independent, non-mainstream crew.

But it wasn’t really my kind of movie. While the great idea about people changing into something we can sometimes scarcely recognise from before was well executed, I couldn’t really follow the life of Dylan. So while the music was wonderful, the performances stellar, and the cinematography great, I couldn’t really get into it.

Verdict: I wasn’t wishing that I wasn’t there during I’m Not There, but perhaps should have had a Bob Dylan potted biography on hand at the same time. 5 Times they are a Changing out of 10.

1 comment:

Not Kate said...

Ah, I warned you that it was a bit (overly) ambitious. I still liked it for making me have to actually actively think. But yeah... could have been done better or at least shorter....