Rebyu ng American Made at The Beguiled
WHO knew I would enjoy a Sophia Coppola corseted drama and a Tom Cruise comedy? International stars Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise both back at peak acting form. American Made Directed by Doug Liman Biographical based on the life of Barry Seal Rated R13 Opens September 13 Action-comedy American
Made is based on the real life of former Trans World Airlines pilot Barry Seal (played by Tom Cruise) who became a smuggler for the CIA and the Medellin drug cartel of Colombia in the 1980s.
In the movie, talented but bored commercial pilot Barry Seal is caught by CIA operative Schafer (played by Domhnall Gleeson, previously seen in Star
Wars: The Force Awakens and The Revenant) smuggling contraband Cuban cigars from Canada to US borders. Schafer recruits Seal for the CIA initially to take reconnaissance (“spy”) photography over communist rebels in Central America. Barry is suc- cessful, so he is promoted to buying commie intelligence from then-unknown Colonel Manuel Noriega (Alberto Ospino.)
His operations catch the eye of the Medellin drug cartel led by Jorge Ochoa (Alejandro Edda) and Pablo Escobar (Mauricio Mejia) who then recruit him to smuggle hundreds of kilos of cocaine to the US mainland. Within a year, Barry is operating a small fleet of airplanes from his own airport in Mena, Arkansas, and is literally swimming in money.
Of course, everything has a price.
I had no expectations coming in the screening except that I remember the last Liman-Cruise tandem ( Edge of Tomorrow, 2014) was quite entertaining.
American Made us humorous, sometimes thrilling, politically scandalous but most of all satisfyingly entertaining. Most no- tably, Tom Cruise seems to have had a lot of fun making the film, he glows in it—so rarely seen in the last movies he made that it is frankly refreshing to see the worldwide superstar enjoying himself.
Also, I won’t be surprised if I see this movie’s screenplay (by Gary Spinelli) land a nomination somewhere.
Grab lots of popcorn when you see this one, it’s a hoot. The Beguiled Directed by Sophia Coppola Based on the novel by Thomas P. Cullinan Rated R13 Exclusive in Ayala Trinoma and Greenbelt Cinemas only
Also surprisingly enjoyable is this drama-turned-comedy from a director who hid her comedy
in subtext ( Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides).
In the middle of the American Civil War, wounded Union soldier John McBurney (Colin Farrell) hides in the woods near an all-girls boarding school in Virginia. Young Amy (Oona Laurence) finds the soldier and decides to bring him to the school, despite being an enemy of the Confederate State. The school mistress, Miss Martha (Nicole Kidman) decides to take care of the wounded soldier until such time that he can leave on his own and surrender to the Confederate Army.
During his stay, the girls of the school are affected one way or the other by the presence of the handsome soldier—ultimately becoming their own poison.
Handsome Farrell may be, but there’s nothing handsomer in The Beguiled than the lush, delicious silhouettes by French cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd and designed by Anne Ross.
Coppola’s version is a more refined, corseted, pinky-finger version of the novel that was previously translated by Don Siegel in 1971 starring Clint Eastwood as a more visceral, hysterical, sex-and-hormones-charged thriller.
Coppola adorns her dialogue with modern-day overt Feminism which I think is how this period drama inadvertently, tongue-in-cheekily becomes hilariously funny. While each character seems to have her womanhood (and emerging womanhood) checked under the surface, the effect becomes comedic when their true intentions are revealed. It’s not at all wrong because this is tonal inconsistency—the effect becomes a juicy romp as each female (girl, woman) tries to outdo each other in capturing the soldier’s own beguiling ways. Great ensemble. Nicole Kidman at the dinner table is at her savage best.
KIRSTEN Dunst (right) and Colin Farrell in The Beguiled
TOM Cruise in American Made
NICOLE Kidman in The Beguiled