Breaking and Entering (2006)

“Breaking and Entering” (2006)


visual, but not vigorous

I care a lot about the work of Minghella. There is a visual poetry transversal to all his films, good or bad, which, although clearly rooted in specific references, are quite personal and honest. I often have the impression that throughout the whole movie he is showing one single image, which is twisted, faded, slightly changed. So he is coherent within his own personal world. He is abstract in the way he weaves sensations and feelings which may not be directly related to the story or the characters depicted. There is an element which always plays in agreement with what he intends: the music by Gabriel Yared. When (if) i come to comment on the English Patient, all these observations will be more meaningful and make more sense (thus i will feel the need to explore these links more). But, generally speaking, these are the characteristics that trespass all of Mighella’s films. This is no exception. He chooses a location, strongly identifiable (London), and he layers his poetic visual storytelling on it. He is building his own city within the real location. No wonder the protagonist is an architect. Nevertheless, the film has little to do with architecture.

The thing is, there are filmmakers who operate (no matter what they are doing) mainly on a spatial world (Welles, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, dePalma…) and others rooted on image, or framed (Wenders, Lynch, Lang, Antonioni again…). Minghella is one of this second kind. He roots his visual story telling on framed image, and possibilities it gives to our imagination. It’s as if the film we see here was the model the young thief builds along the film, and the characters were the small human models he places at his will. The need to escape (or the need to change) apparently drives the fate of these characters. The boy who searches the abstract space (architecture in process) to escape his marginal reality, Binoche who searches the affair to escape her solitude, Law who searches for the same affair to escape his difficult family life. Yared’s soundtrack has here an interesting ambiguity between an epic vision and a cozy environment. Where i think this film fails (or at least doesn’t succeed the way other films by this director succeed) is in its lack of energy. It’s less vigorous than “mr ripley” and less meditative than “english patient”. i suppose it’s coherent to the world it depicts, but it’s not as efficient or interesting as the world of the two other films. I face this as minor work by the director, but it’s worth taking a look.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb


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