Thursday, 17 January 2008

I'm Not There. Review

This film wasn't actually released at the cinema I work at, so therefore not in contention for my stupid challenge. But I'm so commited to this cause that I'll review it anyway. Because I'm great. A bit like Bob Dylan (in the greatness stakes not so much in the singer/songwriter stakes).

I'm Not There is an extremely unconventional take on the music biopic that has done so well recently (see Walk The Line, Walk Hard but not Walking Tall). This time the icon to be (de)mythologised is Bob Dylan. 'Young' Dylan, 'Folk' Dylan, 'Electric' Dylan, 'Recluse' Dylan, 'Movie' Dylan and 'Jesus finding' Dylan are all present and accounted for, each one played by a different actor.

It is worth a mention that Todd Solondz film Palindromes did the whole 'many actors playing one part thing' before but the shapeshifting nature of Dylan as a character means this approach is spot on. Everyone from Gere to Whishaw to Ledger and Bale play their parts differently yet all play 'Dylan'. Before going in I was convinced that Cate Blanchett was getting all the plaudits just because its 'a woman playing a man!' but I have no doubt now that she is the 'Central' Dylan and thus worthy of every award she's destined to get.

It really is unique in many ways and, while it may teeter at times, its just the right side of pretentious. Sadly I think there are only certain people that will like, or 'get', this film. Those that know, or think they know, a lot about Bob Dylan and those who want to know a lot about Bob Dylan. I'm right in the middle of those three groups. And I enjoyed it all the more for it.

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