Thursday, August 04, 2005
Here are a few thoughts about the movie, with apologies for not making it a full review:
- Somewhere in America today, there is a little girl auditioning for a part in a Barbie-doll commercial, and she's struggling to explain to the producer that the only acting experience on her resume is as a serial killer. Good luck to her.
- I'm sorry but I have to ask: is every hitch-hiker in America a hooker, and every man who picks them up ready to pay? I'm sure it was a movified version of the hitch-hooker phenomenon, if indeed it is a phenomenon, but it was very strange, especially given the view of hitchhiking here in Israel. We pick up hitchhikers all the time and they are usually either ultra-religious men, or young soldiers.
- I thought Charlize Theron's acting was great. I've seen some mixed reviews, despite the Oscar, criticizing her as more of a caricature than a character, but there's a very fine line between them. At least as she appears in the movie, the character of Aileen is always right on the edge of being an SNL parody. A big part of Ms. Theron's achievement is that she never went too far, but always far enough.
- Lastly, the 64,000 Volt question: did she deserve the death penalty? To the movie's credit, I think, it's hard to say in the end. She surely merits a lot of sympathy for the absolutely horrible circumstances of her life. There are figures in Greek tragedies who are better off than she was even after their complete downfall. Nevertheless, the movie also shows her as someone who knew what she was doing was wrong, and showed her killing, notwithstanding any misgivings, merely to avoid getting caught. In the end, it probably boils down to whether you believe anyone at all deserves the death penalty.