Friday, May 16, 2008

Film Review: Redbelt

by Eric Green

David Mamet film

Don't miss this film. But, when you sit down in the theater, make sure you have a good seat belt [regardless of the color].

This is another David Mamet film that will excite you and put you on the edge of your nerves for the entire time of the film.

Granted, you have to like the Mamet style of film making; and, in this instance, you have to have some interest in the philosophy of martial arts. The emphasis on and the struggle to maintain its original philosophy is what sets this film apart from other martial arts films.

Remember, Mamet dialogue is very quick, repetitive and raw. Transitions between scenes and within scenes are quick….you have to be very attentive. Some filmgoers will remember his House of Games and the Spanish Prisoner films. Mamet is a very unique filmmaker.

Turns out that Mamet is something of a martial arts fan and participant. That is another aspect that makes this film all the more realistic.

The other part is the Brazilian/Japanese connection. No, not the Japan on its homeland island thousands of miles away. This refers to the highest concentration of Japanese people outside of Japan itself, that being Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Redbelt is held together by the amazing acting performance of Chiwetel Ejiofar an English actor of African descent and with a flawless U.S. California accent. He did that incredible performance in the gripping film about the unlawfull international trading in human organs, kidneys, "Pretty Dirty Things."

Most of the Mamet film assemble is back together again lead by Joe Mantegna, Tim Allen and Rickey Jay. Another English actor, Emily Mortimer, plays a lawyer who keeps Ejiofar to his principles. Alice Braga is cast at Ejiofar's Brazilian wife. Alice Braga is a niece of the incredible Brazilian actor, Sonia Braga.

This film will end up within the Academy Awards orbit; just how many they receive will depend on other films. No question that Ejiofar will be high on the list.

Rebecca Pidgeon created the music for the film. The score and lyrics were an excellent mix of Brazilian lyrics and music and California sounds, the location of the film. She also sings a couple of the songs that she wrote, one along with her husband, David Mamet.

Let the contest begin.

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