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The Year of Living Dangerously

Posted on the 15 July 2011 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
The Year of Living DangerouslyAmidst the 1965 communist rebellion in Indonesia, an Australian reporter (Mel Gibson) arrives in Jakarta to cover the uprising and finds himself being shut out by the government until he meets a well connected photographer (Linda Hunt), who introduces him to important people including a member of the British Embassy (Sigourney Weaver). The journalist starts an affair with the attache which not only draws the ire of the jilted photographer but also endangers the girl when he decides to write a story which will blow her cover. From a novel by C.J. Koch, The Year of Living Dangerously was directed by the great Australian director Peter Weir who makes a nice use of color, location (particularly during a scene where Gibson journeys to the country), and score by Maurice Jarre, as well as two fine early performances from Gibson and Weaver. Although it is clear that Weir is a great director, I find that he often keeps a distance between his films and the audience, not fully engaging them in the story, and I think it applies here. Also the idea of casting Hunt, who won an Academy Award for this performance by the way, to play a male half Chinese dwarf is ludicrous and extremely distracting. I don't understand why someone who fit the bill wasn't cast, which would have made more sense and been more effective. The Year of Living Dangerously has many fine elements but its languid pacing, Weir keeping the audience at arm's length, and the disastrous casting of Hunt make this a near miss.

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