Un intrigante testo teatrale dignitosamente girato da Tommy Lee Jones senza fronzoli o scelte accomodanti per il pubblico. Il film null'altro è che una grigia conversazione tra Bianco e Nero, dove la parte più interessante sta nell'essere spettatori e schierarsi inevitabilmente da uno dei due lati del dibattito, entrambi solidamente sorretti dalle convincenti prove recitative dei protagonisti. Puro cinema dialogico.
This is a very much demanding, ambitious stage play about human, existential issues. Mankind, religion, god, salvation, death & suicide. About why we are here, what we do & why we do what we do. A professor and an ex-convict talk -actually they talk fight- at eye level (!) in a very much intellectual way about these things. Extremely exhausting & demanding; not everybody's piece of cake.
It's almost always impossible not to take sides in arguments of faith, particularly when they're sustained to this vehement degree -- and yet, I walked away from the film truly admiring and sympathizing with both men. Not something I expected. Powerful work here, particularly from Sam Jackson. "Why can't you give me the words, if you can give them to him?"
A chamber piece with a dialogue of dualities between Black and White, on subjects that everyone knows about between two people that we know little to nothing about; about good and evil, about belief and knowledge, about reasons to live and reasons to die, and all of this at the same time. [cont'd]
Probably would have liked this more on paper. I really need to read the play. It had the kind of dialogue one prefers over the sweet nothings of everyday life, but so intense that one shouldn't have it too often. White is actually black and Black is actually white, but at the very end, when White says 'thank you', he becomes lighted again, while Black is left with doubt and just a touch of darkness.
The obvious difficulties of directing a truly captivating, non-sleep-inducing film about two men sitting at a table and talking for 1,5 hours are often quite prevalent. Jones deliberately refrains from fancy film-tricks, and puts the focus on the dialogue, as it must've been with the live theatre play. In this sense, Jones probably doesn't add much to the play's original form. But the text itself makes it worthwhile.
Tommy Lee Jones gave his daughter the middle name of Kafka. It's all starting to make sense. In any case, I never minded filmed plays, and as far as this one goes, it is eminently cinematic. Television is the perfect medium for this kind of drama, and kudos to TLJ and the excellent Samuel L. Jackson for their great example.