Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

My Photo
Location: milwaukee, wi

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, 1991)

As if you weren't sick of reading about Atom Egoyan films by now (this is my last one for a while, though!), I rented The Adjuster the other night. Much like Exotica, the film starts with scenes of seemingly incomprehensible things, like a group of adults in a theater taking notes on hardcore pornography, and a woman comforting, then seducing, a sick homeless man on the subway (who turns out to be her husband, as they like to play games like that). Again like Exotica, the pieces come together to form a cohesive and intriguing picture of, as Egoyan puts it, believable people doing believeable things in unbelievable ways. Noah, the insurance adjuster of the title, lives with his wife Hera, her sister Seta, and their child, Simon. He gets very involved in the lives of people whose insurance claims he is helping along, which usually means sleeping with them, male or female. Noah and Hera barely speak, and when they do, in my favorite scene of the film, Hera asks him if she makes him feel stupid when she asks something that deserves consideration and he answers mindlessly. He denies it, even seems confused by the question, but Hera knows what's going on in their marriage. Noah and family live in a deserted housing development, of which they are the only one - the developer promised more houses in the future, but for now, they are the only ones in this imaginary ideal. Add to that a couple, Bubba and Mimi, who are into voyeurism, and go so far as to rent out Noah's house for a "movie."

Whether or not we think that these characters and/or their actions are actually believable, Egoyan presents them as real people with real problems and fears, ones that we can relate to, as they are us in the extreme. Again, I watched the film partially with Egoyan's commentary on, and it really illuminated a lot of things about the film that I otherwise would not have caught. This film is pretty avant-garde when compared to Egoyan's other work, and deserves to be seen. The ideas he started slowly unfolding in The Adjuster would come to fruition in a more mature way a few years later in Exotica, but this movie is definitely part of the process, a movie that deserves to be seen more than once to get the full impact.


RIYL: Denys Arcand

Labels: ,

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

Comments on "The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan, 1991)"


post a comment