Saturday, September 19, 2009
A Dark and Original 'Sin'
In the film 'Schindler's List,' Liam Neeson plays an upper-class factory owner that initially and unwillingly buys out the freedom for several Jewish refugees in Germany during World War II. What does this have to do with Frank Miller's 'Sin City,' you ask? In 'Schindler's List,' a small girl embodies Schindler's reluctant redemption as well as the fate of victims from the Holocaust later on in the plotline. The director sets her apart from the other Jews in the film by gracing her shoes with the only profound color, other than the default tone of black and white: red.
This same visual effect is implemented in the stylized violence of 'Sin City,' helmed sadistically by Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, and Quentin Tarantino: the Graphic Trio. This screened comic book follows the misadventures of several parallel characters in a town that is a good dozen times more rife with crime and corruption than Gotham City. Bruce Willis plays a cop with no regard for the rules---yes, it's that cliche---who saves a girl from being raped by a lowlife and later goes on a crusade to prove himself to...well...the world? By killing people? Essentially, that's what's going on in the other plot-lines with Mickey Rourke and Clive Owen as well, who square off against Elijah Wood and Benicio del Toro respectively. The film starts and progresses violently, and that could be an understatement. By the end of the film, you'll start to see things tie together nicely and conclude with a mildly surprising twist. Anything else revealed and the point of viewing the film would be wasted.
Not that there is much psychological method to sitting through this film in the first place. Besides having some very psychotic and intensified performances from Del Toro and Owen, 'Sin City' is best enjoyed by turning off your analytical brain and soaking in the elaborate visual effects and stylized innuendo. 'Sin City' is, at heart, a gothic noir fable that Frank Miller obviously had fun to write and film---because that is what he does best. To a lesser extent, consider his recent directorial project 'The Spirit' (though I would honestly rather not). Miller's expertise is the aforementioned genre, and when that crosses your mind during 'Sin City,' it actually is not that bad of a movie; obviously when being compared to something like 'The Spirit'. The story was coherent, the visuals were exuberant but enjoyable, the dialogue...well...the same cannot be said for the dialogue, and it should be left at that. The cinematography is deliciously satisfying to the eye and the violence, while comedic at times, ends up to be quite enthralling by film's end.
It's not a sin to not watch 'Sin City.' It's safe to say that if you have not seen it, you're still missing out. To some extent.
'Sin City'- 1/2