The Counselor has been a film I have waited for for a long time. It has a great cast, a great director and and great writer. Early reviews of the film are not good. People do not like the film at all. I can understand that but I cannot say I agree. I do not think the film is the greatest film ever made but I do think that it holds its place. People are calling this the worst film of the year. I can understand why some people did not get it.
At first I did not get the film at first but it was only after I thought about it more that I thought is was a good film. The film does seem slow and not much happens but there is a strong sense of realism in my opinion. Rather than having these characters do thinks that are completely mental they are grounded. Some things happen that are extreme but this brings a sense of style and art to the film.
One thing that has attracted people is the cast. Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Cameron Diaz. Fassbender is one of the most sort after actors at the moment and is starting to have a massive following. I don’t think he is quite there yet but he will be soon. Brad Pitt has worked with Ridley Scott before on Thelma and Louise. The others are also well known actors and for a small film. I am surprised that this cast was collected to star together. In interviews they say they were attracted to working with Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy.
Cormac McCarthy is a very famous writer and is considered one of the best writers of our generation. He has written books only and they have been adapted into films. This is McCarthy’s first attempt at a screenplay. I have not actually read any of his work but many people have recommended him. However to my knowledge people either like his work or don’t get it at all. So this film does go on to be the same thing. People tend to not like his writing style but for this film it is being turned into a film so that should not have bothered people as much as I thought it had.
Something I felt that was odd with the film was that the dialogue and conversations swapped from too perfect to quite simple. A scene between the Counselor and the diamond dealer seems to make no logical sense in my opinion. I felt that this sub-plot was too perfect and was just a tangent on the plot. People may think this is clever because it seems more real. I did not have an issue with it I just felt it was strange.
The story seems very basic and to many people it seems non existent. This does create a sense of realism but it also hinders the realism. As the characters seem to achieve nothing throughout it can seem underwhelming. The Hollywood convention of happy endings is not seen here there is also no definitive task or anything to achieve. When the counselor tries to fix the issues he is shot down and realizes that he can do nothing more.
Some scenes are very visual and actually look so fantastic. At the same time there are scenes that will shock the audience a great deal. Malkina played by Cameron Diaz at one point does something with a car and the scene was not necessary as it is cut between Reiner describing it. It is quite a shocking scene and I am not sure if it was supposed to get a laugh but I am sure most people will find the scene humorous. The film also contains a few bloody scenes that may shock people a great deal.
Another thing I think that people may not like about the film is that the ending does not seem to close up everything. This is a spoiler but I feel that the characters have no resolution to the challenges they faced in the film. This is not a conventional Hollywood piece and I think that scares audiences greatly. I felt that the films Drive and Moonrise Kingdom did not follow the conventions of Hollywood and seemed to be more like an American art house film. The Counselor almost can’t make up its mind if it is art house or Hollywood and I do think that this is why a lot of people don’t like the film.
Overall the film is worth watching if you are a fan of these actors but I must warn you it is a hit and miss situation. It is interesting to see Ridley Scott direct a project like this as it is very different from his other work. This is not a popcorn movie at all. If you are going to watch this you need to pay attention and think deeply about it if you are to get anything from this. I liked this film and I think people should give it a chance. I can’t promise that you will be entertained.
What did you think of The Counselor? Did you like it? Please comment below and thanks for reading.