Minority Report (2002)

“Minority Report” (2002)



noisy Kubrick

I always appreciate Spielberg’s efforts to make real films, those that go beyond the simple entertainment that permeates his career. He gave us and still gives, from time to time, joyful moments. He is anchored in stories, and he has a visual shape to his own world, and that’s something not that common in the work of directors who so often aim at massive diffusion. But he also wants to make good work, and indeed he knows what molds the great films. He knows it as a spectator, and he understands it as a filmmaker. But in this field, he is an incomplete creator, because he is never able that film selling mundane golden rule of giving the public what the public wants.

Here he tackles Kubrick. He had done it the year before with the disastrous Artificial Intelligence, which was a project Kubrick himself was apparently cherishing at the time of his death. Spielberg couldn’t handle it, and made one of his worst films, which is not at least watchable. He tries to make it up here, and he partially does it. He chooses Cruise, who had been in Kubrick’s final effort. Cruise is relatively weak, or at least not suited for adventurous flights, he is straightforward and what he does as an actor doesn’t reflect any kind of understanding of the rules of the game he is supposed to be playing. Kubrick didn’t took him, he took a couple who was it already for the publics eyes. Besides, Tom’s character there is supposed to be clueless. Well, here as well, but he is allowed to take the lead of the narrative. That is one of the flaws in this film: to allow Cruise to be the action figure everyone expects him to be blurs the emphasis the images and how they build realities should have. Also, the useless branches in the narrative main course deviate from the interesting potential this film had. Why do we need the revival of the romance between Anderton and his former wife? Or underlining so much the sorrow for his past losses? Well, because that reduces the risk that the audience would be put away by the film, and the producers wouldn’t want that, and Spielberg wouldn’t say no. Moralizing about how apparently perfect and fair systems are usually corrupted and their highest hierarchies is a minor flaw.

But there are very good things in this film, and Spielberg is as well to be granted its strong points. He picks a Phil Dick story, which means he will work with memories, possible worlds, provisional realities. Dick’s stuff is highly cinematic in its roots, because it is usually visual (literally here) and explores narrative: stories about storytelling. Also, that is the stuff that permeates some of Kubrick’s most deep works. So that is table were Spielberg lays his skills, and he knows that. And he builds the skeleton well enough. We have a cop whose work is to interpret images. Those images are provided by three beings with a divine aura (the ability to provide us with images is sacrate!). The cop concludes the reality of the film through the images within the film. Because the validity of those images is unquestioned in the world of the film, the power to bend those images is limitless. So the story is a quest for being able to distinguish between truth and lies, but, and that is the real trick, truth and lies told by the images. Some bits are precious, like how the images that foresee Anderton as a murderer match the real events, or the footage of the drowned lady. But we don’t watch these images long enough, and the images themselves are not powerful enough most of the times, and the outcome of everything is done in the fields of common, now outdated action films, not in the films of the images, like it would (and was) perfectly done by Kubrick, Antonioni, Wenders or de Palma.

If i hit hard on Spielberg is because i treasure his imagination and his ambitions. I wish he’ll do really well some day.

My opinion: 3/5

This comment on IMDb


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