Monday, November 17, 2008
Cast: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Runtime: 125 min.
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Drama
I walk into Pride and Glory having watched the trailer, and my instincts suggest to me real strong that there might be no point in watching the film. I walk into it knowing quite well that it is about cops and corruption, and the Tierneys, who might as well be the first family of the NYPD. I walk into it knowing quite well that it has impossible dialog, some of which go like “We protect our own”. And yet, I walk into it. And if the first ten minutes suggest anything, the star of the show was the f-word, making an appearance at strange and unexpected places. If I would try to imitate the film, and employ its style to give you a fair idea how it uses its f-word, the last part of the previous sentence would sound like – f***ing making an f***ing appearance at f***ing strange and f***ing c***su**ing unexpected f***ing places. Yeah, more or less. Please note that the c-word is the unexpected contender for performance in a supporting role.
Yet I wade through it all, and pretend to be intrigued by the plot. It seems like a matter of 4 cops getting killed having ventured out on an encounter, and the drug guy is missing. His name happens to be Tezo. It is a matter of grave concern and the New York’s finest rope in their finest to investigate the matter. Enter papa Tierney (Jon Voight), who knows the finest of the finest is. It is his son Ray (Norton), and while they meet in a public toilet down at the hospital where one of the cops is battling for his life, we learn that Ray has a dark history and he is reluctant to join the special task force. Papa Tierney is all over him, bludgeoning him with impossible dialog like – keep the rage, cut the rest of it. This is when I see the roadmap to hell quite distinctly drawn.
And herein, I got a little confession to make. I did a little mischievous exercise, and courtesy that I’m not sure how seriously you ought to take my opinion on the film. There was this domestic problem, and I decided to have the phone call right then. I walked out of the screening wanting to test myself if I could stay with the film even after I miss ten minutes of it. I called, solved the problem, and came back.
The following is the review of the rest of it.
Pride and Glory looks, feels and develops like that standard issue amalgamation of cop and family drama. So much so that I believe there’re quite a few scripts still around, waiting for their turn. I shudder. Let me describe for you the Tierneys, a bunch who seem to have the potential to creep into every crevice of the NYPD. Papa Tierney and good son Ray are done. There’s another son, good one too, and he’s Francis Jr. (Noah Emmerich), whose wife is just done with her chemo and is counting her last days. When you see her for the first time, you immediately realize there is going to be a lot of footage concerning her misfortune, which might somehow lead to somewhere. Again, you shudder. If you aren’t, you probably should. There’s Megan, a nurse, and thank god we’re spared anything of her. She’s married to Jimmy (Farrell), who happens to be one of Francis Jr.’s cops, and works on the street.
Now, you expect a film like this to at least spare you the family bullshit and scamper along resolving itself. Nope, because the film has ambitions to be the next verifiable Godfather. And you ought to shudder again. Jimmy is the rotten one, and Francis Jr., in his turn, does know enough, but doesn’t know enough, because he doesn’t take the green, and he is somehow innocent because I’m confused. Chances are, you would be too. But of course, you could choose to skip it entirely and resolve your domestic problems right down at your home.
You know you’re in trouble when Jimmy is visited by a guy whom you would pick straight out of a lineup no matter you know him or not (I concur with Ebert), yet Megan doesn’t register even a shred of surprise. You know you’re in real a real s***hole when Ray, who’s real fluent in Mexican, investigating Tezo’s wife who only speaks Mexican, chooses to repeat whatever he says in both the languages just so to ensure that we and Tezo’s wife are very much on the same page. The film is running head down like a bull towards its mark of utter impossibility, and all you do is sink deeper into your chairs. It is probably one of the dullest time I have had this year. Probably right alongside that Sunday when I waited in a queue and watched the barber cut somebody else’s hair only to learn that the guy was interested in a facial too. The drab runs for 110 impossible minutes, before somebody declares – This sh** ends now. You’re so down and out you get up there and then towards the EXIT. But no, they have got to show how it ends, and the way they do is a very, very bad idea. A terrible idea. A horrible idea. The resolution involves a fistfight between brothers (Ray and Jimmy). Now if there was a really bad time to have a fistfight, this was one because the cops are in real trouble with their collective faces smeared all over the dailies. But they do, and it does end after all. And then, you would bother why? But then, you really don’t have to.
Posted by Satish Naidu at 10:07 AM