Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
Published November 17th 2013
a friend is someone who will die for you; you don't have any
Every now and again, you will see reviews that are so polarised in their feelings and opinion - this is surely the case with The Counselor.
This cleverly written script by Cormac MacCarthy, author of "No Country for Old Men," "The Road" and "All the Pretty Horses, may alienate some viewers with its heavy philosophical monologues that explain the nature of greed and reality, and the complicated plot, with the first hour almost taken up with introducing and interweaving the various lives and stories of the numerous characters. For others, like myself, we will want to see it again.
What I liked about this exciting drug war thriller was its dark disturbing look at the unsavoury characters within the Mexican drug cartel; their ruthless violence, their clever executed executions as they coolly go about conducting their business of smuggling narcotics from Mexico to Chicago where it has a street value of $20 Million. The cartel's philosophy is simple and clear to all involved "We don't believe in coincidences." You can count on one finger the one character with redeeming qualities. When one character seeks counsel to try and fix a problem, that is clearly not of his doing, he is coolly told, "a friend is someone who will die for you; you don't have any friends."
The performances are superb throughout. The opening love scene with Michael Fassbender and Penelope Cruz is tender and passionately conducted. Cameron Diaz is awesome in her role as the very clever and calculating girlfriend of Javier Bardem, a night club owner who enters into a one-time drug deal with Fassbender, a Texas attorney, nick-named "the Counselor." Brad Pitt is great in a supporting role as the experienced and calculating drug dealer who ironically counsels the Counselor.
Cameron's windscreen wiping love scene complete with sound effects is bound to be remembered in the same notorious terms as Sharon's Stone's interrogation during "Basic Instinct". Some will feel Cameron's scene offers some relief and entertainment from the many scenes depicting the darker sides of humanity. As much as I was very impressed with her physical fitness, I do feel it was unsavoury and unnecessary, and detracts from the story-line.
As any crime thriller movie fan knows, if anything is to go horribly wrong, it will, and it surely does in a series of brilliantly violent and gut wrenching scenes that ultimately concludes with a gripping climax, that shows clearly crime pays, only for some.