Saturday, February 16, 2008

Comparative Review #3 (Truman Capote)

This is a concurrent review of 'Infamous' and 'Capote', however, this time I shall assume a certain level of familiarity with the subject matter, namely Clutters' murder case and Truman Capote.

Now, bear in mind that I am an Indian male, and I will definitely not have the same priorities in a movie as say, an American or even another Indian male would.

Infamous is a brighter movie both visually as well as music wise. It has a 'Jazz' Sound Track which, I felt, did not fit well with the general mood of the story. Infamous is definitely more sympathetic to Truman Capote's character than Phillip Seymour Hoffman's 'Capote'. It is hard to say which one gives a more accurate description of Truman's true motives, but I know Infamous is truer to Capote's flamboyance and, dare I say: Eccentricity. Personally I found Toby a tad annoying, but maybe that was how Capote was. Infamous, foremost, is about the relationship that he develops with Perry Smith, his book is given a step-child's treatment, and forms only the reason, with the focus undoubtedly on the earlier mentioned point.

A side-note, the casting for this movie is truly horrendous! Sandra Bullock as Harper lee. Is this a joke ? She couldn't act to save her own life, and Jeff Daniels as Alvin Dewey, which I feel called for a more serious looking character.

Capote is a much more smoother, better edited movie, there are no scenes which drag, and unlike 'Infamous' this movie focuses more on Truman's efforts at getting the material for his book, a book which he feels is destined to make him famous and whether it was ethically right on his part to 'Exploit\Manipulate' smith, the way he did. His character is morally ambivalent and is somewhat of a... What is the right word here ? 'Bastard'
That may not be the right word, but is definitely the first that comes to mind.(thanks to Chuck Palahniuk for that one.)

I felt 'Capote' had a more realistic portrayal of Truman Capote, I might be wrong, but so could you. Also, Catherine keener (A favorite of mine from '40 Year old Virgin' and 'Into the Wild') does so much a better job than Sandra Bullock can ever dream of doing. At one point of time in 'Infamous', I felt as though, they had accidentally added footage from when Bullock went out of character. Like someone forgot to say 'Cut!'

In short, I found Hoffman's 'Capote' to be a character worthy of being the star of his own feature, while the same might not be said about Toby Jones' 'Infamous'.

Capote has the right feel and the right music and the right actors to convey the sadness of the whole affair, a pitiful and needless loss of life, and how some can seek to benefit from it without so much as a tug from their conscience.
(I am 'Dead' against the death penalty)

It is obvious to me which one I would choose if I had to watch either of them again.
Definitely the right word, this time.


Capote: ***1/2 (3.5)
Infamous: **1/2 (2.5)

Listening to 'Walking Down a One Way Street' - Boo Boo Davis

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