Anything with the central conflict being between two characters named “the Kid” and “Dad” is bound to be somewhat Freudian in nature. While it should come off as more ham-fisted than it does, it somehow works in a surreal sort of way. Kubrick’s fingerprints are definitely on this, but it feels like it’s own entity as well.
Brando emphasises small poetic details; allowing his story to become lost, derail & grind to a thundering halt. Conflicts go unresolved, plot points occur at random & the whole things takes a variety of awkward tonal shifts. Instead the spaces are filled with breathtaking sandstorms, crashing waves & desolate landscapes; all of which add to & punctuate the film's sensitive melodrama & its bursts of pitiless violence.
Gained a lot from the restoration and from having seen 'Listen to Me Marlon'. There are layers to this beyond the obvious and Oedipal. Fascinating too is the way it almost subtlety subverts the genre at every turn, just enough to surprise but not so much that you raise your guard and see the next shift coming. Maybe seeing the five-hour cut would fix this, but the romance falls apart for me once it becomes sincere.
As his sole directorial effort, this speaks volumes about Brando - that's saying something for an actor who so frequently depicted his own inner conflicts. Noble + brutal, wounded + wounding, someone working to manifest their cynical view of human relationships. The 4K restoration is sumptuous (the sandstorm), the psychology is raw and lived-in, giving it a tragic tone that perhaps exists beyond the screen.
Well, I think this is one of the greatest movies ever made, but I think that it is important for me to concede that I feel this way because I like to get down w/ a hot mess. We are essentially dealing w/ a radical incursion into genre, natch. Radical because what is unleashed is muddy, anarchic, and even slightly aberrant human pathology. I find it easy to become obsessed w/ women. I'm now obsessed w/ Pina Pellicer.
A great actor proves to be a not-bad director. OEJ is so famed for its troubled production history and many screenwriters that the result is surprisingly coherent: it's a solid western, never boring even at 140 minutes. Malden is intense and, faint praise though it may be, Brando's accent is more convincing than De Niro's in Cape Fear. The only real disappointment is that, with the ending, it's just another western.
Classical Western + Modern Actor = Interesting Film It's fascinating to see Brando's physicality and emotionality in a film like this (I should watch more of his early work), but One Eyed-Jacks still lacks a little shape and fluidity. It would have been especially interesting to see what Kubrick would have done with this genre and this actor.
At least two reels too long, Brando's sole directorial effort was a pretty standard revenge story with a side order of psychological angst. Technically proficient but no real visual flair adding to the feeling of a by the numbers oater. Performances are varying in quality with supporting players having a little more luck than the leads.