I’ve been on a bit of a lucky streak this week. I won two DVD giveaways ((Being Julia and Dolls), both of which I’ll view and post reviews of at a later date) and I also won tickets for a free advanced screening of dot the i, from which Jeff and I have just returned.
Oh Gael, where were you during my bachelorette party?
It’s hard for me to review dot the i without spoiling it so I’ll just keep it short and sweet. Carmen (Natalia Verbeke, a visual hybrid of Jennifer Lopez and Monica Bellucci with Penelope Cruz’s voice) has a dark past and is engaged to Barnaby (James D’Arcy), who is wealthy and British. Days before her wedding, Carmen has a “hen party” (read: bachelorette party) where the maitre’d insists it’s tradition for the bride-to-be to engage in one last liplock with a stranger before the big day. Of course, who should come waltzing through the doors, but sexy, struggling Brazilian actor Kit (Gael Garcia Bernal of Amorres Perros and Y tu Mama fame in his English language debut) who’s filming with his buddies. Carmen and Kit kiss passionately, sparks are ignited, and she’s doubting whether or not she should wed Barnaby after all. Kit pursues her, videocamera in tow because he explains “Moments don’t last.” and initially she resists but eventually they’re meeting on the sly. However, this love triangle is more than meets the eye and evolves (or is it devolves) into a thriller halfway into the film.
It was enjoyable. I liked how the director intercut the different video footages. Most of the time we’re seeing the polished footage, sometimes we’re seeing footage from Kit’s handheld camera, and other times we’re seeing grainy footage from an unknown source. And the humor jived with me, especially the references to other movies. The leads were good particularly Bernal (hubba, hubba), but I found I just wasn’t emotionally invested in any of the characters. I know the director wanted to perpetually keep the viewers on their toes. Whatever we thought about the characters in the beginning, wherever we thought the movie was heading, he wanted to prove us wrong. And he did in my case, but I felt the ending was just a tad over the top and a bit ridiculous. Nevertheless, the journey there was an entertaining one.
As a bonus, the writer/director of the film, Matthew Parkhill was at the screening and held a Q & A afterwards. He seemed like a really cool guy. He was a former teacher, having taught English and History for 6 years to bratty rich kids, who always dreamed of making films. On the side, he wrote novels and short stories and in 2000, his script for dot the i got picked up, so he quit teaching and became a filmmaker. So I admire that about him. He’s living his dream now and for a directorial debut, it’s not too shabby. I’d be interested in seeing what he comes up with in his future projects.
As far as the movie goes, it’s a solid romantic thriller that will keep you guessing til the end. I would’ve given it a 2.5, but since I hate the half Pochacco and Matthew Parkhill autographed my program (“To Paet, Best Wishes”) I’ve gotta bump it up to a 3. Did I mention the fact that Matthew Parkhill swore during the Q & A? And that he’s British? Rawrrrrr. That right there deserves the extra half Pochacco.
(out of a possible 5)
I totally promised Matt that I would prostitute his movie for him so here goes. dot the i comes out this Friday, March 25th at the Ken. Restore my faith in the intelligence of the American movie going public and go see it instead of Miss Congeniality 2. Please.