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Is Broken a Dream, or a Place?
Broken is Dorothy's trip retold, with LA as Oz, as seen from Mulholland Drive. From the clean shining sealight of Zuma Beach, to the superficial artificial light of Skid Row dives and midnight diners, Broken follows the arc of a young woman from the Midwest who follows her dreams to Los Angeles, and almost lets her nightmares do her in.
Heather Graham is Hope, a young woman who doesn't think that Cleveland rocks, and goes west with her guitar in hand and a song in her heart called Hanging Tree. The sealight of California lights Hope up brown and golden, she looks beautiful and happy lying on the beach at Zuma, when she is approached by a stranger (Jeremy Sisto) who approaches her as if he walked out of the glare of a setting sun,. He asks for a cigarette, but Hope doesn't have any, she has quit, so he pulls two from his pocket and offers her one. The guy says his name is Will, and this gesture of his is more than a pickup tactic, it is a clue as to who Will really is, a clue that only makes sense at the end of the movie.
The yellow brick road that millions have followed to Los Angeles is lined with permanent detours and dead ends, and Will takes Hope by the hand and leads her away from the golden, dreamy light at the beach and down one of those bad paths, the path of heroin addiction which plunges Hope into a world of bad light, artificial light, the light of tunnels leading to hell, of dingy apartments with the light blocked by foil, to the light of a butane lighter, bubbling heroin in a spoon. The heroin that is slowly taking the light out of Hopes eyes and out of her dreams.Read more ›
Hope has a boyfriend (though the "friend" part is questionable, at best), Will (Jeremy Sisto), a self-destructive loser type who is not beyond spreading the wealth. Hope's life is slowly being flushed down the toilet with Will's help, and one wonders if she REALLY comes above the downward spiral she finds herself in (I found myself cheering on Will, because at times, Hope is acting too stupid to want to help!).
Into this melee' are a barnload of what can only be referred to as "Hollywood has-beens". There is a haggard looking Linda Hamilton, as a "Madam" of sorts. A VERY haggard Tess Harper (who actually looked the part), and Jake Busey, who looks less like his father, and more like a low-brow neanderthal every time I see him. These are the denizens of the early morning Los Angeles. It amazed me how accurate their portrayals were, as I, myself used to live in L.A., and I saw these people every day, on my way to work! It IS amazing that young people STILL trek to Hollywood to be "discovered" (sort of the same type of lie that makes people believe that the island of Oahu is still a paradise!).
"Broken" is a sobering view of a life side-tracked by drugs, self-delusion and dreams of the type that make up the film's title.
This little-film-that-could had a brief stint in the theater, and is due for release on November 20th so by all and any means- check it out! It's a haunting drama set in the midst of seedy L.A., and both Heather Graham and Jeremy Sisto give the performances of their careers! In fact, the entire cast is powerful and effective. This isn't a film that you watch and walk away like it hasn't affected you. It permeates your psyche, in the way that a good Lynch film does. You walk away asking questions, recounting interactions between characters and wanting to see it again.
What I find most appealing about BROKEN is the feeling of hope at the end. You walk away knowing that it's OK to be where you are in life. Rather than rejecting it, embrace it! It's not an anti-drug film, in the conventional sense. Like Hope (Heather Graham) you sink into the dark abyss of self-abuse, you're not just a fly on the wall. Although there is much to learn, BROKEN is by no means didactic. The metaphoric storytelling, as well as the nonlinear/unconventional narrative is like nothing I've ever seen, and I'm an avid cinephile. The cinematography is eerie and atmospheric, with the shallow depth of field, you always feel like there's something amiss in Hope's world.
The film feels real, because it is! BROKEN is easily one of the year's best pictures, so get the DVD and watch it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very intertaining how Heather Graham miss behaves herself in the movie. She acted normal for herself.Published 4 months ago by Ray Nehem
Heather Graham naked and having sex. only reason for the five stars. the story is only worth 2 stars. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Smogol
What was I expecting from this film. Some dark serial killer drama, hopefully with some sort of creative spin on it. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Binky Chottorrhœhia
Broken is about this woman (named "Hope") who wants a career in music or acting but its not working out so far - so she gets into her car, drives away... Read more
This movie is buit up of flashbacks through this girls life, it's a lot of talking and the only part that got interesting was towards the very end, when the story caught up to the... Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by amazing be
I understand what the filmmakers were trying to do with the non linear technique. It just didn't work. I wished I would have read some reviews from film critics first. Read morePublished on October 6, 2012 by Wahini