Orson Welles’s Mr. Arkadin (a.k.a. Confidential Report) tells the story of an elusive billionaire who hires an American smuggler to investigate his past, leading to a dizzying descent into a Cold War European landscape.
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"The Comprehensive Version". The camera angles designed to make him look bigger than life, the pretzel logic (although the story is actually simple, just twisted around to make it seem complicated) are all classic Orson Welles. My son is a huge Welles fan, so this was his pick for Family Movie Night this week. Both of us are more interested in scenes and images than plot, and Mr. Arkadin has plenty of them to offer.
Somewhere up in cinema heaven, Welles might be sipping claret and smiling that his film about burying the truth doesn't even have an agreed-upon version. Having watched the 2006 "comprehensive" cut, it's a weird paranoid noir nightmare of post-war Europe, coming up short even on its own narrative terms, but constantly moving and turning up striking atmosphere and imagery. I'd take its chaos over The Stranger's order.
I can't believe i'm saying this, but Welles' style hurts the film. The issue is that the dizzying esthetic makes it difficult for me to follow this plot which was already difficult to comprehend due to all the awful accents and lack of subtitles. The style is also too bombastic and after a while becomes tiring to watch. It does improve in the last third, but by that point the damage is done. 2nd viewing may improve
A somewhat uneven film that just continues to show how vast Welles talent was. Picking up alot of elements he perfected in Kane, depending on which version you watch you will find his usual bags of goodies. Great imagery and acting, with twists around every corner! Another of Welles treasure's for us to feast on.