NY Times review


I watched the film last night and today I read the original NY Times review (link is available through imdb) and now I'm quite confused... I didn't think I had any problem understand the plot - and it's resolution through Silien's telling and the subsequent flashbacks. Of course he's a nasty character, committed nasty actions, but in the end, it's fairly clear that what he claimed was the truth isn't it? And therefore, he's only about half as bad as he seems? The fact that the criminal and the cop (forgive me for forgetting their names) are his only true friends/allegiances? The reviewer in the Times didn't get this at all. It sort of seemed like one of those off-the-wall, missed it by a mile message posts you see on here. But, of course, the irony is that I might have been too gullible and I believed Silien too easily and therefore I'm the one with the bad aim. I guess my question is, am I right? Did I get it?

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We are never told if Silien's story is true or not. It can be interpreted both ways.


- This comment is most likely authentic and fairly close to what I intended to say -

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We're never told, except that the way it's played out - and acted out - give us no reason to think that he's lying. Faugel's (is that his name? it's been a couple of weeks) friend corroborates to the point that he can (admittedly, he doesn't have all the info). And Faugel doesn't seem to have a problem believing the story. And what's the benefit for Silien of making it up? Why would he have done all that? And the close friendship depicted in the coffee shop scene and then in the final seen at the mansion give us no reason for us to question Silien's loyalty.
This review - http://www.thefilmjournal.com/issue10/ledoulos.html - agrees with me. It's actually coming to cinematheque here in Toronto in a couple of weeks so I'm going to have to go again.

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I just got out of a screening, and since I'd seen it before, I was paying pretty close attention to make sure my understanding of it was correct from the first time. And both times, it's seemed pretty clear to me that you're right. Remember, this review is by Bosley Crowther, who was preternaturally gifted in missing the point. He spent most of the sixties praising people like Stanley Kramer and going out of his way to dismiss anything that might be regarded as hip. See, for instance, his reviews of Breathless <http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?title1=&title2=Breathless%20%28Movie%29&reviewer=BOSLEY%20CROWTHER&pdate=19610208>; and Bonnie and Clyde <http://movies2.nytimes.com/mem/movies/review.html?title1=&title2=BONNIE+AND+CLYDE+%28MOVIE%29&reviewer=Bosley+Crowther&v_id=6614&pdate=>;.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed the movie even more than I had remembered. And it's a good new print--you can actually read all the subtitles now.

Tom

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Don't read the NY Times. It's only considered a respectable piece of literature because it's a New York rag.

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