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Matt Shapiro (Don McKellar) is dead, one more victim of AIDS in New York City. But someone in his circle of friends called 911 when Matt died, which means that Assistant District Attorney Nicole "Nick" DeVivo (Parker Posey) has to interview witnesses to close the file. But there's a strange hesitancy about Matt Shapiro's family and friends when they talk about his death, and Nick grows suspicious. Did Matt Shapiro die of AIDS? Did he kill himself? Did someone help him? And was he the only victim?
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Top customer reviews
It's for caregivers, and friends, and family, and those who somehow keep walking even in the face of deepest despair.
I read some of the more critial reviews, and their contributors seemed wrapped around the axle about it's artistic deficits - plot lines and the like. I'd say to them, respectfully, that you need to go and find someone who needs support, who is dealing with HIV and stay the course. Then you'll understand what poigniant nuance and prause this work has captured.
On 6/24 I'll be attending Tales of the City, The Musical in San Francisco, hosted by Olympia Dukakis. It will be with tears in my eyes that I take her hand and thank her for her phenomenal portrayal of Lila in The Event.
A must see.
Then there are films like this that show that good social commentary can also make for pretty mediocre art. From the beginning, "The Event" feels contrived; you know exactly how it will end 5 minutes into the film (and can proffer a good guess before you even see the film).
While the acting was fine (excepting an embarrasingly akward showing from Parker Posey), it lacked the depth to me required of a plot so grave and deep. What was a disappointment, though, was the writing. What generally makes 'social commentary' films work is the push-and-pull and tension in its plot (think David Gale and Dead Man Walking). Here, there is no tension. A very sick man makes a decision to commit suicide and within a few minutes, all crying and subtlety stops; everyone is on board. While my symapthies lie with the 'right to die' movement, this seemed to me like a very one-sided view of a very more-than-one sided issue. The only tension - if one wants to call it that - was infused by Parker Posey as the assistant D.A. looking into the criminality of the situation, but this was very weak acting for a very weak character.
Because of this - because of the lack of tension and transparent predictability - what could have been a poignant take on an important issue skated on the verge of a pointless sadism. (There is something sadistic to me about a film that's climax is the on-screen actualization of a suicide everyone knows is 'just around the corner.')
Lest one want to think my bad review's impetus is bias against the film's message, I should repeat that I am quite symapthetic to the 'right to die' movement and always have been. The only bias my review is motivated by is that which says that even social commentary films - especially social commentary films - have an obligation not to be simplistic and cliche. "The Event," I feel, is both. It feels contrived from start to finish, and comes off as so concerned with the message that it loses any attention to the medium.
Unfortunately, even their performances lag due to the incredibly bad script writing and incompetent direction, cinematography and editing. As a person who loves good cinema and socially topical subject matters, I have to draw a line at some point and state that not all indie films are great. (Contrary to what I say most of the time.)
This is the kind of film that would be fine if it was part of a first year project for a film student at NYU; the viewer would have lesser expectations. Unfortunately, for the serious subject matter, this production was left in hands of people less capable for extracting the best from the artists involved on every level from writing to acting.
The cast has little with which to work due to what I feel is incompetent directing and lackluster production value of the film. This is a rare case where I would suggest that it would have been far better if managed by a larger Hollywood studio.
There was far too much talent in the cast to be squandered on such a horrible venture. Whomever funded this should seriously reconsider their idea of investments for the future. This was pretty bad from start to finish, which is a huge disappointment since I enjoyed the writer/director's first film The Hanging Gardens and because I've enjoyed several performances by many of the actors in previous projects. This is one of the worst productions I've seen decades.
Most recent customer reviews
The Event was a movie that sounded great in the jacket copy.Read more