Jul 22, 2010

In the Electric Mist, 2009

In the Electric Mist, 2009
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard

Electric Mist in short: Lt. Dave Robicheaux, a detective in New Iberia, Louisiana, is trying to link the murder of a local hooker to New Orleans mobster Julie (Baby Feet) Balboni, who is co-producer of a Civil War film. At the same time, after Elrod Sykes, the star of the film, reports finding another corpse in the Atchafalaya Swamp near the movie set, Robicheaux starts another investigation, believing the corpse to be the remains of a black man who he saw being murdered 35 years before.

Stage: Local art cinema Dvor

Preps: The piece is recommended by a friend of mine, whose opinion counts a lot. Furthermore, I get to see the synopsis and seems like a good thriller or at least a good crime movie. Therefore, a must-see.

Reality: Well, it has a good start and push of the imagination. The scenes change so quickly you need to focus quite hard to follow. Then after a while, the main float of the movie, the main theme just somehow vaporizes in a shape of different scenes that don't seem to be connected at all, but in the end you figure they are (or at least to some extent, your brain discovers the unrivaled truth that maybe you just didn't pay the needed attention to get your puzzle pieces stick together). Well, one thing is certain and true from the very beginning; this is one of unusual movies you get to see when choosing a non-american director. This is also a plus to the movie. And of course, also the reason for my dissappointment. Normalwise you would get the movie to reveal the murders and to chase the criminals and in its end, you would get your curiosity satisfied.

In this case you don't get anything like this. However, you get to play with the connections that chase you from your past (is it that past describes the way you will evolve or explains the kind of person you are?) The movie implies that it does and also has some christianity hidden inside - you will be punished for your sins, sooner or later.

The good point of the piece would be bringing attention to something that americans wanted to brush under the rug - the crimes that noone seems to admit they happened, the natural disasters (Katrin) that influenced people's lives in so many ways and last, but not the least, the civil war that happened and got a lot of people to suffer.
In the movie, the resemblance or the memoirs of the civil war seem like a cartoon inside the movie. But in reality, right at the end, you see the vision the director had in how to connect both worlds as you see the Robicheaux in a photo with all the other soldiers - as you had the impression it was a movie set. The passing between a movie set (filming of a movie in that city) and the civil war soldiers, just running around, is smooth, the director doesn't pull a distinctive line between past/forgotten past and reality - to the viewer it just seems somehow awquard and visionary - as Hood seems to know what happened, what is happening and what is going to happen - like a bad conscience of Robicheaux.

Maybe worth seeing another time to get to the bottom. Am not sure. Left the movies with mixed feelings. And somehow empty in the result department (answers that were never there, questions that popped out.. like it wasn't supposed to end like that).

My personal rating: 5,0 (I guess despite the superb cast and superb scenes in the movie, too many riddles remain unsolved and a big stretch from the main story doesn't inspire me the way it was supposed to. The expectations for this piece went another way. )

Electric Mist on IMDB

Electric Mist home page

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