Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Red White and Blue: Does NOT Fuck Around
I admit, I purposely avoided Red White and Blue because of all the sex in the beginning. SO MUCH SEX. And so much whoring and blah blah I'm a whore blah sex, orgies. You know something? You are right person reading this right now and judging me---why am I being such a prude? Perhaps I wasn't in the right mind set when I started watching Red White and Blue for the first time. Perhaps I was in more of a "Let's shoot guns at aliens" mood then I was a "Let's watch a girl be a whore" mood. And also, I'm probably just really judgmental against whores.
The fact is--do not let the rampant sex in the beginning of Red White and Blue throw you off. Because unliked Erica, Red White and Blue does NOT fuck around. In fact, the sex is even vastly important to the film in the long run. But don't get all excited, super random horny person reading this (I'm guessing you are the same person who searched, "naked nuns" and "saggy Grandma monster tits"to find my blog) because there is nothing good, hot, or exciting about the sex in Red White and Blue. In fact, in some ways, the sex is one of three villains in the film......and villains are bad. Very bad.
Shown to us in three different "views", Red, White and Blue follows three people whose lives intertwine in the strangest and most unlikeliest of ways. We have Erica, a woman who seems to find a new person or people to sleep with every night. We have her strange and mysterious neighbor Nate, who has apparently returned from war with an honorable discharge. And finally we have Franki, a budding rock star who has his mother's cancer weighing him down and plenty of girl trouble and emotions to go along with it.
What is most surprising about the film is the extreme turn it takes halfway through. I often make light of the fact that most American films never seem to have enough courage to actually push things as far as say, a French extremist horror film. Somehow, Red White and Blue pushes things to the extreme while still being oddly modest. It seems like a contradiction I know---but it's true. There's a lot to be said here about what is implied. I think a filmmakers true talent shines when they create feelings of horror and fear without actually shoving our face into it. Think of the absent shark in Jaws, or even the skinning scene in The Black Cat. These films teach us that you don't need absurd amounts of blood and gore to create some heavy impact--and Red White and Blue firmly follows that same school of thought.
There is of course, one very extreme gory bit of something at the end there. Although people for whatever reason do not seem to talk about this much. I however, felt like I was going to barf when watching it (Although to be fair I always have the urge to barf when watching....skinning). This is I think the one giant display of gore but the thing is--it's entirely necessary at the moment. If you have seen the film then you know what I mean. Shit goes from normal to bat shit crazy holy shit holy shit in a matter of minutes. Seconds even.
Another thing to note in Red White and Blue is how well the three different views are handled. One thing I noticed and quite loved was how normal the other characters seemed in other people's "views", despite the fact that we know they are not normal. We feel sympathy for every character that is NOT the central character of that segment. If you do your math correctly, that means we somehow end up feeling sympathy for a character that we completely hated and loathed only minutes before. Pretty neat right? Characterization. Angles. Storytelling. Three strong and expertly handled ways that Red White and Blue shines.
If you have not seen this, I recommend it to you with full confidence. It goes places you do not expect and it becomes insanely original and surprising at just about every single turn. There's a very different kind of horror coming out of Red White and Blue. It's a horror that relies on the severity of our actions and the actions of others. That idea that some people out there feel there are no consequences to their actions. That they feel that all that matters in this world is how something will affect them. That brutal unrelentlessness and that very raw and emotionless core is what puts Red White and Blue far away from other films in the genre. This is a villain that we seldom see out there in the world of zombies and vampires---and it may in fact be much more terrifying.