10 July 2004

The Clearing

Today I watched The Clearing, and I must say it's right up there as one of the worst films I have ever seen. I almost went up to the theater manager and asked for my money back--it was really that bad. The film never introduces the characters. At the end, one still is left wondering who the members of the family are and why they're included in the film. The plot is so banal and trite without a single scene of even the slightest interest. I kept thinking, okay, something interesting's going to start happening now--it never did.

I suppose a more superior movie reviewer might mention the film's nicely Republican subtext: A rich guy gets kidnapped by a poor guy. The poor guy wants to be like the rich guy and doesn't realize that he needs to stay in his place (Redford's character actually says something like this at some point). Perhaps the bad guy is supposed to be like Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita and simply wake up to the fact that being a poor schmuck in the divine play is the best he can hope for as this represents his dharma.

At the end of the film, my wife and I tried to figure out why it was called "The Clearing." I think they might show a clearing for a few seconds, but beyond that, I don't think there's any connection. "The Clearing" is clearly crap.
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