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I found this movie to be frankly... okay.
It's not outright bad in any particular area, certainly, it's good-looking visually, the performances are overall serviceable, there's some snappy dialogue and it's got some effective sequences.
All of this would be fine and it'd be a serviceable heist-drama film if not for the people involved. From the actors to to the director to the screenwriter, all of it is Hollywood royalty, people I know to be capable of some of the best work in their field. This should have been mind-blowing and one of the best movies of the year, but it's merely average and failts to realize its considerable potential.
So where does the movie fail, exactly?
First of all, it's too long. It definitely does not have enough stuff in it to warrant its 128 minutes running time and frequently pads itself out with sequences in which nothing much happens and oh-so-stylish shots of people looking through windows and mirrors. There is a definitive lack of narrative trust and momentum: at no point is there any real sense of urgency, things just... kind of happen.
Tragically, for a movie that claims to be about women, I found the female characters to be rather flat and uninteresting despite the actresses involved: Linda and Belle barely have three character traits to share between the two of them, Veronica's character revolves almost entirely around her husband and dead son, and while Alice goes through some character devellopment, most of it is told to us rather than shown through any kind of action. It's the men who actually do have compelling drama built into them: Jack, Jamal and Harry are far more fascinating figures than any of their female counerparts, and Jatemme's sheer intimidation makes him great fun to watch. Not a very good look for a "feminist" movie.
Ah, yes, the film's politics: while the Gillian Flynn's heart is obviously in the right place, she can't seem to broach any subject without coming off as distractingly heavy handed. Diversity! Male privilege! Race privilege! Empowerment! Gerrymandering! Gun control! Sexual politics! Police shootings! Feminism? The kitchen-sink nature of the movie's politics means that at no point does it really take time to dwell upon any single one of these subject: it's a grab-bag of hot-button issues that it sometimes doesn't give more than a nod to, as if checking the boxes is enough.
So yeah, I was disappointed. I love almost everyone in it, but the end product just isn't worth it.
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