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  •  READER COMMENTS

    Reader comments on The Dancer Upstairs

    Subject: flaws vs. strengths of movie
    Date: Jul 9, 2004
    Sender: Vil BlekaitisPrevious | Next

    I agree with Joshua's review that the movie falls short of greatness because of numerous flaws, but he also immediately identifies why: Malkovich was trying to reach a larger audience than a more sophisticated socio\political\thriller could aspire to. Of course, it was silly to have fine Hispanic actors like Javier Bardem speak their lines in a heavy accent while others, like his sidekick, sound perfectly American; Spanish, with subtitles, would have satisfied the arthouse crowd that Malkovich is primarily aiming for.
    But look at it from another angle: isn't it worthwhile to debase art a little in an effort to bring the story of what happened in Peru to more Americans? Unfortunately, movies targeted toward American audiences always dumb down the historic context, if there is any, because the average moviegoer wants entertainment rather than a tutorial or a message.
    And as entertainment goes, it is more intelligent than most American fare. That scene with the children carrying the posters was unforgettable but not all that cryptic: given the economic plight of native Americans throughout much of South America--just like here--that kid really was dead anyway. Malkovich's directorial debut stumbles a lot, but one criticism I heard a lot--that it is unlikely a detective assigned to such an important case would have the visage and soul of a poet--is perhaps unfair. I have worked with educated Peruvians in jobs well beneath their abilities, and have always come away with the impression that they are much more civilized than the average educated American. Hopefully, next time Malkovich tries an ambitious thriller he'll find funding from international sources so he won't have to factor American tastes into the artistic equation. Still, not bad for a start..

    Previous: The Dancer Upstairs | Next: About the language

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: The Dancer Upstairs




    Comment index:

  • [no subject]   from audrey, Oct 30, 2003
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Terry, Nov 17, 2003
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from shank, Jul 18, 2005
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Toby, Dec 6, 2003
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Mark, Jan 2, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Jennifer, Feb 15, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Aleksey, Jan 5, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from AX, Mar 21, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Jerrie Ann Yeager, Jan 1, 2005
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Atim, May 30, 2004
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from John Miles, Jul 7, 2004
  • » flaws vs. strengths of movie «   from Vil Blekaitis, Jul 9, 2004
  • About the language   from Iigo, Nov 25, 2004
  • [no subject]   from audrey, Oct 30, 2003
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Terry, Nov 17, 2003
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from shank, Jul 18, 2005
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Toby, Dec 6, 2003
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Mark, Jan 2, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Jennifer, Feb 15, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Aleksey, Jan 5, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from AX, Mar 21, 2004
  • Re: The Dancer Upstairs   from Jerrie Ann Yeager, Jan 1, 2005
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from Atim, May 30, 2004
  • The Dancer Upstairs   from John Miles, Jul 7, 2004
  • » flaws vs. strengths of movie «   from Vil Blekaitis, Jul 9, 2004
  • About the language   from Iigo, Nov 25, 2004