Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beatriz at Dinner

Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner’s dubious achievement lies in making a real estate tycoon of the Donald Trump variety actually look good. Under the rational that animals and man are both dying anyway, the character of Doug Strutt ( John Lithgow) destroys indigenous communities, along with the ecosystems that support them. His greatest pleasure comes from hunting endangered species, an activity he describes as exceeding sex or drinking. In the movie he shows pictures of himself killing a rhino. He’s the kind of hunter that's the subject of manhunts. His adversary Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is a Mexican born healer who treats cancer patients with alternative therapies and should shine out as a force of good by contrast. Instead the script writer Mike White has fashioned her into a murderer of another kind. She storms into the Southern California house of one of her clients, entertaining a foolish crowd of airheads who order drinks like Jack and Coke and Grey Goose with Cran. Her recipe for redemption lies in confronting the venality and materialism of the guests and in a final moment at least contemplating a physical attack on the most prominent symbol of the world she hates—before taking her own life, Virginia Woolf style by choosing a watery death. Hayak’s character actually succeeds in becoming more repugnant than any of those whose consciousnesses she has sought to raise. The disquisition in which the problems of Beatriz car (the car has a breakdown and so does she) become the catalyst for the action is almost as contrived and fastidiously predictable as the film’s self-righteous message. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.