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Edmond (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Stuart Gordon

Starring:
William H. Macy/Edmond
Julia Stiles/Glenna
Mena Suvari/Whore
Bokeem Woodbine/Prisoner
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
After a fortune-teller tells terminally discontent Edmond that he’s not “where he belongs”; he abandons his life and heads out into the seedy underworld to find himself, validation and some poontang. Some bloody slash-slashings happen along the way and Edmond finds himself in a heap of trouble…or is it salvation?
THE LOWDOWN
I related to EDMOND because it asked the questions that I ask myself on a regular basis when not being overly consumed by the daily grind or the striving to fulfill immediate goals. Questions that address the big picture: why are we here and are we where we should be?

Horror Ace Stuart Gordon and writing genius David Mamet addressed those queries for us in a visceral, compelling, touching and thought provoking manner via this film. If you have an existential bone in your body, you’ll be affected on varied levels by EDMOND. With Mamet’s in-imitable dialogue style that takes the “interrupted”, “steam of consciousness” path to come off more realistic (works 90 % of the time) and Gordon’s unapologetic and down & dirty approach to the material, this flick hit me hard. Hard enough to have me meet up with some friends afterwards, get sloshed and discuss the same issues with them. We did come up with a lot by the way and then washed the session down with a long overdue visit to the local Strip Club. But enough on that.

I connected to the film as to its question of “What is it to be a man?” as well, specially in this day and age. The answer given (so eloquently by the great Joe Mantegna) was something akin to “Pussy, power, money, self destruction and more pussy”. Funny as that’s what my dad pretty much thought me while growing up. My Pops and the film totally ignored that being a man also has to do with strength, honor, pride, drive, taking charge (and responsibility) for your life and being as good of a person as you can be, but hey that wasn’t their agenda. But wait, I’m getting too personal here, what’s next I’m gonna tell ya my dick size and my fav color (its blue)? F*ck that!

Lets go back to where we should be: “Pussy, power, money, self destruction and more pussy” The film went on to grippingly cover those ‘wants” through Edmond as he hit the red light district in search of them while seeking for his own answers as to whom he is and what is his place in the world. Big props to actor William H Macy for making Edmond a dude I wanted to follow around. The gradual degradation of his psyche and the up in sociopath/psychotic tendencies had me by the balls and then some! I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen as I felt I was taking this journey with him. That for me is a sign of a solid film. One that manages to suck me in and make me forget that I’m watching a movie. Tag to that the film’s intoxicating visual style, its moody score, slick cameos, some moments of high tension, its groovy politically incorrect nature and its “left field” yet ironic and makes so much sense ending and you get a keeper baby! A KEEPER!

On the bah side of things, Mamet’s choppy style of dialogue did get on my nerves a tad in places. I was like “just say it already and stop stumbling”! Furthermore, although powerful in its own rights and definitely not what I expected, the last block was a bit too talky for me. More physical action would’ve been appreciated as opposed to bla bla bla, bla bla bla me to death. It somewhat went over my head as by that point I had lost some interest and just wanted the film to come to a close.

With that snapped in two, when it did end with those powerful final frames, I had high regards for the whole. Edmond was a daring, ballsy and challenging character study. It got my noggin ticking and made me appreciate my life, my friends and my sense of direction. Those are gold, even while living in a pathetic world such as ours. Feeling existential? I’m am right now! Where's the Gin yo!
GORE
We get a messy slit throat, mucho blood splashes and enough off-screen bloodshed to suggest mucho brutality and nastiness. Minimal on paper yet effective.
ACTING
William H. Macy (Edmond) kicked the most ass! Easily the best role of his career, even tops the “The Cooler”. Here he managed to evoke compassion while being/acting unlikable. Even when doing the most atrocious things, I was still rooting for the lad! Grade A, layered and endearing the man OWNED! Give Julia Stiles (Glenna) the right role and she will mop the floor with it. Her show here made me forgive her for The Omen remake. She gave dimension and nuance to what could’ve been a one note part. Mena Suvari (Whore) made for a good whore while Bokeem Woodbine (Prisoner) took me aback in the grounded and realistic fashion he tackled his duties. Good job man!
T & A
Chick butts at first, all about them g-strings that I cherish so much. Bai Ling also gives us a shot at her nice round chewable titties. The ladies get Macey’s ass…hey, be happy! The man obviously works out his glutes!
DIRECTING
Stuart Gordon shot to serve the storyline, hence un-intrusive. That doesn’t mean that his fine use of slow motion, the application of varied eerie looks and gritty atmosphere wasn’t picked up or/and appreciated by this twat. Solid!
SOUNDTRACK
We get an appropriate score that ably tapped into and supported the bleak jive of the subject matter
BOTTOM LINE
At the end of the flatline, we’re all slaves. Slaves to the little bubble we live in (which we created) that we call a life. Emotional slaves to the lovers we’re with for a long time, even though we don’t love them anymore. Slave to our uber flawed society and its expectations as to “how” we should act. EDMOND basically annihilated those fences by having a man turn his back on the boundaries, head out in the world to see if he can find himself and deliverance.

Sex, violence and existential yapping surfaces and all is capped in a very unpredictable yet ideal way. The film was maybe a tad too talkie for me near the end and Mamet’s stumped dialogue style did irritate me occasionally but overall EDMOND was just the kind of shot I needed today.
BULL'S EYE
Look out for cameos by Joe Mantegna, Bai Ling, Jeffrey Combs, Debi Mazar and Denise Richards.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL EDMOND SITE HERE

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4:27PM on 10/08/2006
One of the scariest films I have ever seen, and it is by no means a horror film. I watched Edmond Burke, portrayed amazingly by the incomparable William H. Macey, and his character made me look at my life and how it would be like in 20 or 30 years. Life is already boring, lonely, extremely lacking in sense and we are sometimes consciously delving into its mazes without the slightest clue of what we are doing. At a certain point, Edmond realised all that. Realised that he was bored, angry,
One of the scariest films I have ever seen, and it is by no means a horror film. I watched Edmond Burke, portrayed amazingly by the incomparable William H. Macey, and his character made me look at my life and how it would be like in 20 or 30 years. Life is already boring, lonely, extremely lacking in sense and we are sometimes consciously delving into its mazes without the slightest clue of what we are doing. At a certain point, Edmond realised all that. Realised that he was bored, angry, lonely, frustrated and maybe sick. He realised that he is alive. He became conscious of his own existance, and the consequences were a bloody mess.

The superb William H. Macey gives a performance so strong that he totally disappears behind the character. He creates an Edmond that is flesh, blood and brains, and you totally root for the guy's pain and angiush. His journey through the night is like seeing one's life in miniscule: a series of faliures and frustrations that lead into anger and total loss of control and, consequently, regret. This is a portrayel of an era that is lived universally, and thats what gives the film its importance and relevance. It can be seen by any viewer at any spot on earth and be felt and appreciated. Sadly, such films pass under the radar because they are "too violent" or too "artsy" while Leatherface, Freddy and Jason take the headlines and gain the cult following.

Sometime in the future this little masterpiece of a movie will get its true appreciation. Awards and nominations can be forgotten but when you see this film you would want to recommend it to a TRUE fellow film fan. And thats how these films live long lives while other "major" ones are borne dead. Kudos to the filmmakers and stars of this film, namely the great screenwriter who adapted his own play and to Macey and Julia Stiles who did a very impressive job considering her very small role. The ending of the film was so touching, as much as it is a bit shocking, and the conclusions that Edmond reaches remain questions. Questions you'd want to ask and discuss long after you're done with this wonderful movie.
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