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|Festivale Spring 1997|
In many ways, Albino Alligator is a one-room mystery. But the question is not, who done it, but rather, who will do it? Will Dova (Matt Dillon) do it when he swore on his mother's grave he wouldn't? We don't think Milo (Gary Sinise) will do it, but you never know, he is the protective type. Or will it be someone else?
Albino Alligator is the first screenplay of Christian Forte. He wanted to consider the question, "What are you willing to sacrifice in order to survive?"
The cast, which has the feel of an ensemble, is led in their portrayal of characters-in-crisis by Kevin Spacey. Survival is on all their minds, from the gutsy Janet who recognises how close to the edge they all are, to the young, quiet pool player.|
For Spacey, "The film is about what Dova will do, his struggle between good and evil", and by directing from this angle, the movie falters. Certainly when the pace lagged for a few minutes part way through the film I thought, "What do I care about the moral dilemmas of a criminal?". He has done wrong, he is with wrong-doers, and he is determined to escape the consequences of his action.
No, the more interesting performance to watch, and the one that should have been the point of view, is Faye Dunaway's Janet. She learns very quickly that the ones she loves will die if she cannot defuse the situation. Yet her efforts to survive are hidden by constant directorial returns to the dark, glowering, uncertain delinquent type.
Dillon's character is about the survival of ego. He can choose to live or die, his only inevitability seems to be jail or exile. For Janet, death becomes more and more likely as time passes. Her survival, and what it may cost her is the core of the film, and Spacey did not do this justice. Ultimately, I left the theatre without the catharsis that Forte's script promised. Pity.
|Who will live?||And||Who will die?|
|Workmanlike, and worthwhile if you like to watch the actors exercise their skills.|
See also Terry's review
|Just the facts:
Title: Albino Alligator (MA)(1997)
|The Players: Matt Dillon, Gary Sinise, Faye Dunaway|
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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