Once in a blue moon, I wonder why certain actors have made professional decisions that have taken them away from one career route and toward another.
Take Johnny Depp. About 20 years ago, he starred in the intriguing, Jim Jarmusch-directed independent film Dead Man. Now, however, he stars in big-budget spectaculars such as the forthcoming Into the Woods, as well as Tim Burton-helmed duds such as Alice in Wonderland.
Was Dead Man an anomaly? Is Depp really just a Hollywood actor who doesn’t take cinematic risks anymore?
This is a talented performer we’re talking about here, but I’m concerned that celluloid experimentation is no longer of interest to him – that he’s riding on the coattails of his eccentric, tiresome performance in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and, as such, doesn’t feel the need to try something new and inventive. I lament that.
Hopefully, there will be more challenging roles in his future. Although in seeing that he’s reprising his role as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, I am not convinced that’s the path he’s traveling down.
There’s little more frustrating than a frustrating movie.
Enter Jim Jarmusch’s vampire opus Only Lovers Left Alive. Was this flick frustrating or what? It had some funny bits, some great cinematography, a look, a feel. But it didn’t have a lot of conflict … and the internal issues experienced by the characters – what seemed to be the problem of remaining alive, as a vampire, for hundreds of years and quelling the thirst for sucking someone’s blood out of his or her body without being bored – were resolved in an all too pat fashion. Add in a very deliberate pace (glacial doesn’t come close), and you have a bit of a mess.
Jarmusch has a lot of talent. I like the fact that this film was to a horror-driven vampire movie as eggplants are to horn-rimmed glasses. But I think it might’ve been overly ambitious. It reached for things it couldn’t attain. A more straightforward flick would’ve been more entertaining.
Of course, if it was a more straightforward film, it probably would’ve been a horror movie. So perhaps the only thing it could’ve been was what it became.
Oh, well. I guess I was expecting something a little more satisfying. It was a good try, nonetheless.