Monday, January 26, 2009

Natural Born Killers

Natural Born Killers; Thriller grotesque, USA, 1994; D: Oliver Stone, S: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tommy Lee Jones, Tom Sizemore, Edie McClurg, Evan Handler, Rodney Dangerfield

In some small bar, Mickey and Mallory kill all the guests except one man so that the news about them would spread. On the highway, the deranged couple remembers how they met: Mallory was raped by her father who was thus killed by Mickey who just then delivered some meat to her home. After 52 corpses, TV moderator Wayne makes a hit show about them but they get caught by the police when a snake bite dazes them. The prison warden allows Wayne an interview with Mickey but just then a jail rebellion starts. Mickey and Mallory kill Wayne, escape and decide to live in peace.

"Natural Born Killers" is an infamous art trash that has little sense. Despite the fact that Oliver Stone was nominated for a Golden Globe as best director, this whole cult film is comprised of almost absurd hectics: there's a small black and white shot of a snake in a desert, then a train passing by in red cinematography, then the camera tips and follows a bullet that's heading towards a cook, followed by a TV spot of a polar bear that drinks coca-cola (?)...Undoubtedly, all those elements are there for their own sake, yet if there's one thing that Stone should be acknowledged for, then it's his amazing visual style that really dazzles at moments. Also, for some reason, he decided to direct a few sequences in a completely abstract way: one of those curiosities is Mallory's childhood in the house of her drunk and cynical father (comedian Rodney Dangerfield!) crafted like a TV sitcom, since the laughter of the audience can be heard in the background. The delicate theme about a killer couple that kills without a reason was handled awfully heavy handed, almost without any sophistication or depth, which is why the story tries to be a new satirical version of classic "Bonie and Clyde", but without a clear vision or dignity. Roger Ebert may have given it 4 out of 4 stars, and it's undeniable that the film has some great moments, but it's also obvious that a whole new world could have been made out of the narrow story, a one so much more superior and organized than this, since only a few satirical jabs at media ignite, like when a fan holds a sign stating: "Mickey, kill me!", or when Tommy Lee Jones delivers this line in a hilariously insane way: "Jesus Harold Christ!"


No comments: