Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Passion Play

Passion Play; drama, USA, 2010; D: Mitch Glazer, S: Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans, Kelly Lynch

Nate is a musician who is simply on a bad streak: not only does his boss withhold money for his gigs regularly, not only does he owe money to gangster Happy Shannon, but on top of all he gets kidnapped by a thug who wants to shoot him inn the middle of the desert. Nate is saved by some Indians and he arrives by foot to a circus that features freaks. Nate is fascinated by a 20-year old girl, Lily, who has angel-like wings growing out of her back. He runs away with her and plans to sell her to Shannon to repay his debts. When Lily finds that out, she leaves him. Nate feels remorse and realises he loves Lily. Nate storms into one performance by Shannon, escapes with Lily to the roof of the building - and they jump and fly off into the sky together.

"Passion Play" is a bizarre, almost surreal allegory on outsiders who are regarded as freaks by people around them and who thus feel isolated and misunderstood, and by having the protagonist Lily (Megan Fox) be a girl who has angelic-like wings growing out of her back really seems like one of those outlandish metaphors from scripts by Charles Kaufman, including, of course, religious implications which are interwoven with a theme about remorse and redemption by the main hero, Nate (very good Mickey Rourke). Unfortunately, the film suffers from a too long running time and too much empty walk, featuring several sequences where nothing is going on and where the storyline just keeps going on artificially. This could have had potentials as a short film, but it collapses in the overstretched feature length format. If the interesting, symbolic ending is excluded, "Passion Play" has basically only two good scenes: one is when Nate implores Lily to return back to him, saying: "We belong together", upon which comedian Bill Murray cannot resist but to reply with his superior wit: "Now he is even talking in song titles"; and the other is the almost poetic moment when Nate and Lily are making love in bed, her wings covering him, and then a feather drops to the floor. Unfortunately, except for that, the film simply lacks highlights. It is easily watchable, but definitely needed more inspiration that would let these characters do so much more in the storyline.


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