Monday, October 22, 2007

Letters from Iwo Jima

(Warner Bros., 2006)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Screenplay: Iris Yamashita
Cast: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Shido Nakamura, Tsuyoshi Ihara

I really don't know who to be disappointed in more for Letters' rather putrid telling of Japanese soldiers defending territory from an American invasion. Clint Eastwood's POV never really goes beyond the underground trenches the Japanese soldiers defend/fall back on. The Japanese military is a proud one, but the camera lens never really transcends beyond its insularity. Letters breaths of historical value, but it becomes too self-important in its presentation to really care about their fates. I'm not sure if that's director Clint Eastwood's fault, or screenwriter Iris Yamashita's because her script never goes beyond Act 1? I kept waiting for some shift in tempo and/or storyline. Every time a battle broke out, or when General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) made his first appearance, I hoped for something that would lift the story out from its gloominess. Unfortunately the cinmentography's garish color was its metaphor. D

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