Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Deer Hunter

Dir: Michael Cimino
Starring: Bob DeNiro, John Cazale
Year: 1978
Running Time: 412 minutes

I'm never a fan of film-related trivia, but The Deer Hunter has one interesting fact: John Cazale was dying of cancer as he made the film and died shortly after. Plus he was engaged to Meryl Streep, who also stars in this film, at the time.

Anyway, about the film. The Deer Hunter is another psychological war drama. Well, that's not strictly true. A whole heap of it is set before the characters go to war, just showing them in their daily lives. The war section is surprisingly short, but is rather well put together aside from the horrible use of stock footage - what is this, a Marx brothers film?

You can't argue with the cast. This is probably the best role I've seen DeNiro in. The same for Walken. Cazale is good/annoying as ever. The film itself, however, is overlong and rather dull. There is a whole one-hour section, when DeNiro returns to the US only to go back to Nam again, which really shouldn't be in there.

Even if you condensed it to 90 minutes, I still think you would have a fairly dull film. It offers a powerful statement about the effects of war, and how much more important friends are than your country.

It's just not entertaining, though.


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