Sunday, June 01, 2008

Movie review: The Deer Hunter


I didn't expect to like this movie. In fact, I'd avoided watching it in the past.

I don't know if you can "like" this movie. It's very affecting, and held my attention better than some other movies I'd expected to like better.

The plot involves three friends from a small Pennsylvania town and what happens to them from the eve of their enlistment through their tour and after they return home.

Condensed down to a sentence, it doesn't really do the plot justice. Robert DeNiro is awesomely stand-up and tough. Christopher Walken has a bizarrely androgynous look to him and spends a good part of the movie looking fairly zombie-ish. It's an unsettling combination. John Savage's character is under-used.

The climax, where DeNiro finds Walken, has filled the review coffers over at imdb. Suffice to say that it's jaw-clenching, although I didn't find it very surprising. The part I found moving is when one of the characters sees himself reflected in the polished wood of a coffin. If there was ever a "there but for the grace of God..." moment in film, that's it.

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