Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

After watching the various Tim Roth and Gary Oldman films recently, I decided it was time to visit this film, a film I last saw a very long time ago.

My memories of this this film before I watched it were that it was witty and fun to watch, but as I started watching it I remembered that it is actually quite tedious and kind of boring, for the most part. It is certainly not “mercilessly funny”.

The story was kind of confusing at times. It is based on Hamlet, a play I have never read, so maybe if I knew that story better this may have made more sense.

And despite Tim and Gazza being two fave actors of mine, I thought they both over-played their roles a bit, they seemed to think that they had better act this as if they were on stage rather than on a film set, perhaps that is the director’s fault. So, their comedic reactions were a bit over the top with a lot of double-takes, comedy pauses, and various other techniques more commonly seem on stage or in bad TV comedies.

It was genuinely funny at times though, I especially liked Gary Oldman’s character building modern machines out of paper, or “discovering” scientific concepts, only to have Tim’s character destroy or completely ignore them. Some of the dialogue was quite witty and funny, there was just not enough of it.

Reviews for this were mixed, with Wikipedia saying that some reviews say it is more suited to the stage than film. It received a Golden Lion at the Venice Film festival. Roger Ebert did not like it at all.

I may just try to read Hamlet and see if that helps me understand or not understand this film a little better: that is the question. But, I do find Shakespeare tiresome to read…perhaps a dumbed-down version will be in order.

Date watched: September 14th
Score: 5/10
Film count 2018: 57

Meantime

This is a film I remember watching way back in the 90’s, and it had a lasting impression on me. I last watched it in 2010.

It is a 1983 made-for-TV film starring Phil Daniels (he had the speaking part in Blur’s “Parklife” song), Tim Roth, and Gary Oldman. Alfred Molina had a smaller role.

The story follows two brothers (Daniels and Roth) as they basically just go about their daily life on the dole, along with their bitter father, and the equally bitter but working mother. Gary Oldman plays a skinhead who does the usual skinhead things. It isn’t a story as much a look at the extremely depressing life of working-class in the East End of London under Margaret Thatcher.

For contrast, the mother’s sister lives in a much more well-off suburban part of the city and does her best to help Roth’s character, but we see that even her seemingly idylic life is also troubled…money doesn’t buy everything.

It was directed by Mike Leigh, who does these kinds of films extremely well, and it is just plain superbness throughout. This was Tim Roth’s second film (TV film), with Made In England being his first, which I am going to watch next.

Date watched: August 25th
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 55

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I have seen this before, but on a plane back to Japan with crappy headphones so I couldn’t hear it well. I promised myself I would watch it again as it seemed very good.

And second time around it was just that. Lots of low key but powerful acting from all involved. It looked great too with brillo photography, sets, and the whole 70’s look going on.

I must watch the TV series some day.

Date watched: September 25th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2013: 127

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I watched this on the flight back to Japan. Unfortunately it was hard to hear because of the crappy headphones so I missed a lot of the dialogue which in this film was very important.

But from what I could hear and see it was a fantastic film. It was filmed very well and the acting was superbness. I’ll have to get this out again when it comes out here or maybe read the book first.
Gary Oldman looked quite old in this, whether it was the makeup or he really is looking that old I don’t know.

Date watched: March 12th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2012: 35