Film Review: Cassandra's Dream [dir: Woody Allen; 2007]

The opening shot of Cassandra's Dream shows Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell running towards a boat. But the sequence appears to begin too early, as though the editor has inadvertently permitted us to catch a split-second of behind-the-scenes reality: we actually see the actors spring to life, no doubt in response to Allen's cry of "Action!" This sense of awkward amateurishness continues through the entire movie, reducing it to a pretty embarrassing mess. Somewhere in the background, you can just about detect the ghost of what could have been a perfectly respectable plot about two brothers agreeing to murder someone in exchange for money, but the execution leaves a great deal to be desired. Only the fact that it's made by the director of Annie Hall and Deconstructing Harry causes you to wonder whether there's a reason for the clunkiness, whether the pale performances, the one-dimensional dialogue and Philip Glass' portentous score are signs that the whole thing is an exercise in irony. But no: this is woefully simplistic fare with hardly any redeeming features whatsoever.



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