Set in contemporary London, "Cassandra's Dream"
is a powerful and thrilling story about two brothers (Ewan
McGregor, Colin Farrell) who are desperate to better their
troubled lives. One is a chronic gambler in debt over his
head, and the other is a young man in love with a beautiful
actress (newcomer Hayley Atwell) he has recently met. Their
lives gradually become entangled into a sinister situation
with intense and unfortunate results.
New York born Woody Allen is 72 years old. The award winning
filmmaker has written over 40 screenplays and directed over
40 movies. He has 14 Oscar nominations for Written Directly
for the Screen category, which is more than anyone else. He
frequently plays a neurotic New Yorker, and has his works
set in New York. His last three films have relocated their
settings to London, and the collection of three movies has
been unofficially labeled as the “London trilogy”.
Match Point (2005) is a crime drama romance while Scoop (2006)
is a comedy fantasy mystery. And like the other two, this
final chapter to the trilogy is a crime drama thriller that
makes you ponder about serious issues like morality, ethics
and the basic characteristics that make up human nature.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” McGregor and Colin “Alexander”
Farrell play two brothers who are on the lookout for more
cash so that they can lead better lives (isn’t that
what we are all after?) When their uncle comes to town and
offers them cold hard cash to kill a business partner, they
become entrapped in a moral situation which will lead to their
eventual downfall. The 110 minute movie looks at how each
man deals with this state of affairs.
casting is top notch here. We’ve got the intense McGregor
(Deception, Miss Potter) and Farrell (Miami Vice, The New
World) powerfully playing their roles with strong emotions.
One man’s Scottish and the other’s Irish –
their strong screen presence, appealing accents and sexy charm
makes the pairing spot on. Couple that with an underrated
performance by Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton, Batman Begins)
as the sinister uncle, a beautifully charismatic performance
by TV actress Hayley Atwell as a up and coming stage actress,
a moodily charismatic score by Philip Glass (The Hours, Notes
on a Scandal) and some simple but effective cinematography
by Vilmos Zsigmond (The Black Dahlia, Melinda and Melinda),
you get a very predictable but enjoyable moral drama that
is very typically penned by Allen.
to the other two movies, or other Allen’s films for
that matter, this one may be a little too self righteous and
serious for its own good. But on a day when you want to reflect
how far your life has come and what you have done to achieve
today’s results, this may just make you think deeply
about the whole meaning of a life. Looking out for more cash.
Wanting to lead a better life. Wishing for a beautiful spouse
to live the rest of your life with. Isn’t that what
we are all dreaming for in life?
The Code 3 DVD contains no special features.
nothing to complain about the disc’s visual transfer,
and the movie is presented in its original English language.
Review by John Li