It’s been a week since I’ve seen Woody Allen’s new effort Cassandra’s Dream and I still remember the two main character’s names, Terry (Colin Farrell) and Ian (Ewan McGregor). Not because these brothers are really that memorable, it’s because they say each other’s names so many times there’s no possible way you could forget. It’s “Terry this”, “Terry that”, “What are you doing Terry?”, “Terry you’re not thinking Terry.” And a lot of this comes in one conversation.
Obviously a little exaggerated, but at a certain point it starts to feel unnatural. You begin to feel that these aren’t two human beings you’re watching, but constructs. A way for Allen to deal with the things he finds to be most interesting; goddless world, murder, death, sex, obsession, ambition, love…and how all of these things can corrupt or at least become rationalizations for corruption. And there’s some decent rationalizing done.
There’s a lot of repetition used as filler. We get certain things that we’re still hearing about two scenes later. Then sudddenly you’re cuaght up in what’s happening. It’s back and forth, in and out. Unrewarding then thrilling. And I have a feeling that Allen knows this. There are pieces of dialogue that point directly to him knowing this. It’s fine that he wants to be clever about it, but that doesn’t mean it works entirely. So much of it comes down to, how much do we like these characters?