02/06/2016

Bridge Of Spies - Show Ya Dick!!

Quick Thoughts: Bridge Of Spies

A story based on true events during the cold war that follow James Donovan, a lawyer who attempts to facilitate the smooth exchange of a Russian spy with an American spy and student.


This won't be a full Thoughts On: essay, just a few short ideas. Tell me if you like this format in the comments and maybe it'll pop up more often. Anyway, I just re-watched Spielberg's most recent film, and whilst it's not great, it's not bad. It starts off with a strange agenda of almost irrational altruism with Donovan taking side with the spy, Rudolph Abel, for no apparent reason. This however is later justified. What's a bit disappointing with that though is the fact that I noticed it. And it all comes down to character work. Spielberg is a master at capturing pure fun both in character and through his direction. He manages to do this in small parts throughout the film, but not as thoroughly as he has done with other masterpieces such as Close Encounters, Jaws or Raiders Of The Lost Arc. Like with all of his best works you can see his style of direction and also pick up on a few of his tropes such as the hectic family dinner/home scene picked straight from E.T or Close Encounters. But, in short, this just isn't his best work. The worst thing about it though is the look, the lighting is fluffy, sometimes fluid, to the point of implying some kind of anglicism - which is kind of out of place. It's just too much, and doesn't look very real (which you want with a film that starts off with 'inspired by true events'). Staying on the grounds of realism, the action scenes aren't great. I was actually shocked by how bland the plane crash sequence was. I couldn't believe it was something Spielberg, the man who gave us Saving Private Ryan and Minority Report, put to the screen. With all that said, I did enjoy this film quite a lot. It was harmless despite its flaws.

The most entertaining factor of this film though was the depiction of counties and war. It strips away governments, flags, presidents and T.V as much as it can, having real people make real exchanges in a strangely everyday way. In each scene where officials are negotiating you are almost watching something you'd expect to come from the likes of Linklater - it's just talking. However, this...



.... isn't a comparison I'd make. But, what we should all be glad of is that we didn't get this:



What the film really demonstrates though is how countries are often macrocosms of everyday life. Countries are often much like cities, streets, households, individual people. In showing this, the real comparison that begs to be made is:

  
What I mean to infer here is a kind of Mexican standoff. In short, what this film is comprised of is two guys saying: 'my dick's bigger than yours', 'no, my dick's bigger than yours'. And to resolve the issue, one of them has to pull out an 8 inch fat one, slap it down on the table, with a face like...


Now, what you packin'?

And then instead of rising (pun intended) to the challenge, the other guy backs off. I know this sounds like I'm making fun of war, countries and so on, but I'm not. I think the big dick competition is admirable, it's in our blood, because, in all honesty, if you've got that...


... Alabama Black Snake, you've kind of got bragging rights. It's juvenile, it's silly, it's possibly offensive, but come one, we're not that civilised. And if you can't admit that, or you don't see the humour and humanity in pissing competitions, then you deny levity, you deny a sense of internal peace found in our own malicious boisterousness. And when you ignore that, well...


... I don't know, you're probably a boring person. My closing remarks on this are that this pissing competition, or big dick competition, is what makes the 'cold war thriller' so likeable - just like it does almost any sports, or slightly patriotic film ever made. In the end, it's not vulgar, not if think that beauty is sometimes found on the inside...





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