Review: The Sunset Limited

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Can you guess what book that is?

Okay. This is a tough ‘film’ to review. First off I’d like to mention it’s a TV film, you won’t find it at the cinema, despite the high profile cast… of only two men. So the film stars Samuel L. Jackson (who needs no introduction) and Tommy Lee Jones (I’d like to say the same but you’ll know him as Will Smith’s mentor from Men In Black, and No Country For Old Men).

The film is based on a play written by Cormac McCarthy, and is based around a man, named simply ‘White’ who attempts to throw himself in front of a train, but is saved by ‘Black’ who appears just in time (these characters are played by Lee Jones and Jackson respectively). The event isn’t shown in the film, only the resulting hour and a half of dialogue in Black’s apartment.

So yes, the entire film is set in a single apartment room. Considering this, it did pretty well in keeping attention; it’s just that as the conversation seemingly picked up and got climactic towards the end, I was kind of bored and uninterested. It’s only an hour and a half long though, but apparently that’s just too much for me. The whole dialogue is a conversation about Christianity and Atheism, and it’s very philosophical and references lots of things related to religion. I can’t say much more about it, even if there is very little to spoil, but if you’re interested in this kind of thing it’s probably worth a watch, but you have to have a long attention span, as there’s not much going on that’s particularly interesting here.

You could argue the film is pointless. I suppose it is, but it’s carried well by the two actors, especially Jackson, who plays ‘Black’, a janitor of some sort judging by his costume, whose apartment is apartment is the set of the ‘film’ (it’s kind of an interesting set, a typical looking run-down apartment, and very basic and simple). Tommy Lee Jones does well with his role but some of his dialogue was delivered strangely, his expression wasn’t great, he just didn’t seem to pull off the character of someone on the verge of suicide very well, alas it wasn’t a total turn off from the film.

 

Yeah, this film really is just depressing.

The music was also a negative factor. I can see what they tried to do with it, and it gets louder when more pivotal dialogue is being spoken, but it just didn’t go well and didn’t have a very good effect on the film. The same can be said for the shots and angles, some of which were decent, but quite a few that just left me confused as to why they had been done like that.

So overall, I’m not sure this is a film for everyone. It’s like a single scene from a film drawn out and stretched to fit an hour and a half, with some success I suppose but not that much, and I will say it sounded more interesting than it actually was, and I don’t exactly feel uplifted, depressed or moved in any way, so unfortunately I’m going to say the film’s worth just a 6 out of 10. Mediocre bordering on interesting.

9/10

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