Cert: 18 Runtime: 117 mins Director: Ridley Scott Cast: Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt
Men are attracted to flawed women too of course, but their illusion is that they can fix them. They just want to be entertained. The truth about women is that you can do anything to them except bore them
A star studded cast and a top notch filmaker, all combined into one The Counselor is Ridley Scott’s latest venture. What is The Counselor? A rich and successful lawyer named Counselor (Michael Fassbender) is about to get married to his fiancée (Penelope Cruz) but soon meets up with the middle-man known as Westray (Brad Pitt) who tells him his drug trafficking plan has taken a horrible twist and now he must protect himself and his soon bride-to-be lover as the truth of the drug business uncovers and targets become chosen. Unfortunately, this film is a perfect example of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. To simply put it, the story is a complete mess right from the start. We have our main character who gets confusingly dropped into this situation. How did he end up in this predicament? Why did he choose to pursue such a perilous and illicit path? Basically, the movie never explains anything. You’re left in wonderment, attempting to figure out who is on whose side. Who wants to kill them exactly? Characters end up in random places, and the story never even bothers to explain how the two characters even know each other. The script just conveniently places two movie stars in one scene without an effectively developed context to service it. What follows are countless scenes where characters engage in conversation, vaguely discussing the circumstances. The dialogue also feels vastly strange because the characters don’t talk like actual people do in reality. Their speech sounds quite literary as they spout metaphor after metaphor, coupled with complex vocabulary. With that being said, I had no issue with it at first.
Speaking of the cast, Javier Bardem was really the only one that stood out to me. Frankly, Cameron Diaz had me bewildered. She’s supposed to be from Barbados with an accent- See, I wasn’t even sure whether she was sporting an accent or not. At times, it felt like she had an accent going on, and then in other moments, she was speaking fluent and clear English; so I have no idea what was going on there. Even then, the film could’ve easily hidden all these flaws by presenting us with a thrilling and suspenseful plot, but it actually turned out to be incredibly uneventful. The scope didn’t feel as exciting as it was supposed to be, and it definitely wasted an incredible amount of potential. There were a few disturbingly violent scenes that boosted the film’s tone, for lack of a better term, literally. The ending was also not very reassuring, cutting to the credits unexpectedly shortly after another monotonous and ambiguous conversation. The only decent element of this movie was its soundtrack, but then again, its quality could’ve just been determined in comparison to the oddity and nuisance that the rest of the film consisted of. In sum, the best way to describe The Counselor is “brutally unsatisfying.” I felt no sense of satisfaction by the time it drew to a close, and everything simply felt so meaningless and forgettable. There’s no question that it left a bad taste in my mouth, and I sincerely hope that Ridley Scott ups his game sometime soon.