Rus Articles Journal

“Snow-covered cedars“ (1999). The melodrama with caution on Pearl - Harbor?

“Limitation period“ - the term legal, and therefore concerning memory human work worse than ever. Time not imperiously over prejudices, and infinite wars only aggravate the conflict of interests, leaving behind scars and rancor, judicious on a trifle.

After the end of World War II in one unimportant American town was suddenly remembered that it is possible to repay a debt to the fatherland not only death on an embrasure of an enemy machine gun, but also aggressive chauvinism in the back. To find a whipping boy it appeared as easy as shelling pears, for quite some time now the coastal settlement was flooded by natives of the Land of the rising sun. Having remembered strangers Pearl - Harbor, aboriginals without excess thoughts attacked on the defenseless Japanese Miyamoto whose return from the front coincided with tragic death of the local fisherman. The dead person - in networks, the soldier - in fetters, the public - waiting for a verdict, and on the agenda - old dispute on a plot of land, the grown hateful “friendship of the people“ and the difficult choice between egoism of the lost love and family traditions.

The Australian director Scott Hicks be not treated kindly by jury of two continents for the tautological brilliant “Gloss“, at a turn of the millennia “Snow-covered cedars“ could fight as equals for desired awards, but be present not nominally at the list of nominees of film academy. The creator was brought by self-confidence because to put together the universal justice of “Schindler`s List“ pressing heart and epic intensity of emotions of “Gone with the Wind“, it is necessary to be, at least, Spielberg - Fleming rolled into one.

Hicks preferred to go in the footsteps of the mingellovsky “Cold mountain“, violently suppressing socially - a political context excessively sentimental and sometimes a basten love story. All these “cedar“ appointments, front letters and wet eyelashes absolutely work only for that part of audience that it is inclined to romaticize any warm rush. The rest (read - to insensible yokels) should be content with the scanty detective line and the static chronicle from the courtroom in which admirers of series in the spirit of “Lawyers of Boston“ will not find resolutely anything intriguing. Visually magnificent and a look the attracting landscapes of British Columbia serving as an ideal background for glossy flashbacks at some moment ceased to play a decorative role, but for the “postcard“ style the picture also deserved the only nomination on a gold figurine: you will not refuse to the operator Robert Richardson ability to bewitch the viewer a deadly haze of fog, it is lazy the seagull sliding on the cloudy sky and silent snow-covered cedars.

Scrupulous giving of procedural details, though is not invented by Hicks, and relayed from David Gaterson`s novel, nevertheless fairly spoils general impression from the movie which could become something big, than a set of grishemovsky stamps. As if accidentally retouching a key message, creators force us to empathize anyone - the lawyer tired with human defects in faultless execution of Max von Suedow, the poor Japanese girl with model appearance of Jukka Kudo or to emotionally sterile character of Ethan Hawk - but only not to the defendant Miyamoto, the representative of the generation of migrants crippled by mistrust. Probably, notorious American chauvinism seemed to authors of the movie too easy mark, and therefore the provocative subject was dropped, and one more shameful page of history - is bashfully covered with the mediocre melodrama.

However, despite this politically correct maneuver, the snow which is not plentifully falling on tops of trees, not a hot texture of young bodies in a crevice of the broken cedar is engraved in the memory and it is not deathly - the pale flesh which got confused in fishing networks, and a despairing look of the elderly Japanese watching how his compatriots are interned to concentration camps.

The story told by Gaterson and translated into language of art cinema by Hicks there was not enough feeling. But that it is much worse, it not to occupy diligence. Ground under Oscar, the tape desperately tries to be deeper, more truthful and more powerful, than it is actually. And if in the visual plan “Snow-covered cedars“ really allow to estimate drama scales, both personal, and public, then regarding the scenario intentionally the shifted focus objectively prevents to select the movie from a train so skillfully disguised, but, in fact, pretentious pictures.