in

Boos, and Some Cheers, Greet Coppola’s Ambitious WTF Statement [Cannes] — World of Reel

Boos, and Some Cheers, Greet Coppola’s Ambitious WTF Statement [Cannes] — World of Reel
Announcement


“What the f*ck was that?”

That’s what I heard on my way out of the DeBussy screening room as Francis Ford Coppola’s “Megalopolis” had just ended. The film’s end credits were initially met with boos from Cannes press, that is until an “In Memoriam” title card showed up on-screen for Coppola’s late wife Eleanor and cheers burst out.

Taking place — purposely? — in a not too realistic world, filled with irrationally questionable behavior, “Megalopolis” is either the most expensive “experimental” movie ever made, or a madly epic failure. I’m not sure which category it belongs in. Bump into people here at Cannes and some will tell you it’s the latter, whereas a vocal minority will say it’s the former.

I definitely wasn’t bored by its batsh*t crazy vision and the illogical actions taken by its characters. Coppola’s film is madly ambitious and staggering in its passion. What was it even about? Was the acting and dialogue purposely hammy? How can Adam Driver possibly stop time? Has Coppola, 85, lost his mind? It plays out like a madcap surreal dream.

Driver plays Caesar, who is a tortured architectural genius.  Lawrence Fishburne, who plays his chauffeur, narrates the story with biblical and Roman-inspired quotes. “Megalopolis” is, at its core, a love story between Natalie Emmanuel’s Julia and Driver’s Caesar. She’s the daughter of his political rival (Giancarlo Esposito) — tensions arise with Caesar’s vision of rebuilding New Rome (which is basically New York City) into a self-sustaining utopia filled with high technological advancements. The mayor wants the status quo and believes the changes Caesar want to make will bring about chaos.

Meanwhile, Aubrey Plaza plays a rival love interest of Caesar’s and, I kid you not, her character’s name is Wow Platinum. She’s a promiscuous gold digger who gets very jealous when Julia enters the picture. Wow decides to scheme and take down Caesar with the help of wild playboy Clodio Pulcher (Shia LaBoeuf, in drag). Jon Voight also shows up as billionaire Hamilton Crassus III, Clodio’s grandfather, who ends up marrying Wow — she plans to annul the prenup and then, obviously, kill him. That doesn’t seem to turn off Hamilton, who ends up showing her his massive erection.

A rather interesting moment occurred when the house lights suddenly came on in the cinema and an actor showed up on stage, playing a journalist, speaking to Caesar as if he were at a press conference. It became an instance of theatre interacting with cinema. I loved this moment, and so did the audience who applauded soon after it was over.

There’s mad scientists, magic, corniness, melodrama, violence, and romance in “Megalopolis,” all seen through the eyes of people who govern, the elites — and yet, Coppola is more interested in ideas rather than characters. If anything, it’s these ideas that completely overtake the movie.

The film is visually stunning — colorful and sumptuous. It recalls Coppola’s ravishing 1981 film, “One From the Heart.” He experiments a lot here with an endless overlaying of images upon images. You’ve never seen anything quite like it. He tries to redefine how a movie can be told and seen.

Coppola walks a real tightrope with this film. I really don’t know how to process the delivery, especially just a few hours after having seen it. Oh, and it is NOT commercial at all. There is zero chance this film finds an audience, but, really, who cares. It defies all standard dramatic rules and is the most idiosyncratic American film I’ve seen in a very long time.

“Megalopolis” is a very personal statement, one in which Coppola dares us to ask big questions, about legacy, the survival of our species and how we can try to safeguard a better world for future generations. Some of his crazy ideas pan out, others don’t, but there’s no denying that this is as ambitious, daring and, yes, incoherent as cinema gets.

UPDATE: 38% on Rotten Tomatoes and 62 on Metacritic.



Source link

Announcement

What do you think?

Written by Kookloofeed

Announcement
Announcement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Announcement
American Horror Story: Delicate ends with a WTF

American Horror Story: Delicate ends with a WTF

What Happens When a Pop Star Isn’t That Popular?

What Happens When a Pop Star Isn’t That Popular?