Thursday, March 17, 2011
When Bad Things Happen to Good Ideas: Red Riding Hood
The film has too much going on; it's too busy. It wastes time with several soap-opera-like subplots which could have been handled in less superfluous ways. Part of the sin in this is that they do too much telling and not enough showing. They have a character tell back story, and so quickly if you blink you might miss it. That is fine to do, but it also needs to show and be implied by the action, the mood, or anything physically and visually present in the film. I don’t feel satisfied at all. The story could have, should have, gone deeper. I love the idea of transforming a fairy tale from it’s one-page origins into an epic and compelling story, but using soap-opera drama is NOT the way to do that.
The script is bad, and in my opinion is what makes the film subpar. The lines are dull and two-dimensional which rob the actors in a lot of ways. The two guys who are her “love interests,” Max Irons as Peter and Shiloh Fernandez as Henri, are completely flat and both lack any real chemistry with her. Now, this could be because of their uninspiring script and lines like “I could eat you up…” *gag* or they could just be flat actors, but in this film there’s no way to tell.
Catherine Hardwicke directed, and one thing I really like about her films is her style through cinematography. It’s rough and edgy, but smooth and sultry at the same time which is not easy to do. She captures the physical essence of people and place wonderfully. She makes the most of the scenery and uses every last drop of its beauty.
Posted by Alexis P. Johnson at 9:48 PM