Volume 11, Number 17
8 February 2005

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This Week
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Atii.jpg (5753 bytes)"Warning: This review contains the analysis of a movie. My advice: If you plan to see the film, hold off on reading the review until afterward.”
Isn't the general idea “something unusual always attracts more attention” right? It is, actually. Drawing the audience's attention to something that is just the opposite of their expectation works quite well. The proof of this is at cinemas across Turkey. It was totally weird to find a card on each seat at the movie theatre saying, “The movie you are about to watch is completely unpleasant. There is no happy ending in this movie. If you want to leave, you had best leave now.” Isn't that weird? Along with the fact that it's weird, it's also attractive for audience members, whose excitement and curiosity about the movie increase significantly as a result of this note. “Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events,” a movie directed by Brad Silberling (“Moonlight Mile,” “City of Angels”…), is an adaptation of the first three books of Daniel Handler's best-seller series. Jim Carrey, Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman are the actors whose performances propel the movie forward. Jim Carrey, in particular, appears in various roles during the film, which in my opinion makes it better than average. Although the movie is about the three Baudelaire children, the plot unfolds around the foxy Carrey character, Count Olaf.
The Baudelaire children were rich and happy until their parents perished in a fire that also destroyed their home. After this unfortunate event, the Baudelaire orphans are placed in the care of their closest relative, Count Olaf. Rather than thinking about taking care of the children, Count Olaf cares about the inheritance left to them. Starting from this main idea, the story proceeds along with a series of unfortunate events. However, the Baudelaire children are extremely capable. Violet is the youngest inventor in the world, Klaus is a bookworm and Sunny is a tiny, cute infant whose main interest is biting stuff with her four strong teeth.
Briefly, I can state that I liked the movie. However, besides its enjoyable and outstanding sides, there are significant holes in the story. First, some positive points: The on-screen translations of Sunny's babblings are extremely funny, resembling the old series “Look Who's Talking.” The scene where Sunny bites the edge of a table and hangs from it in midair is another funny moment. For sure, Jim Carrey is in himself a sufficient source of fun via his multi-disguised characters. Meryl Streep's and Jim Carrey's acting are really outstanding. On the negative side, certain points are enough to cast a shadow on the movie. At the beginning of the movie, the children react extremely well to the news that their parents have died. This results in a lack of persuasiveness. Besides, unnaturally capable children have been brought together. They are like an incredible team, resulting in a fantastic rather than a realistic movie. Moreover, some of the unfortunate events seem to be a cheap version of the previous unfortunate events shown in the movie..
The movie, as a whole, seems to be the first installment of a possible series, since at the end of the movie Count Olaf is free, although he is supposed to be in jail. Besides, there are uncertainties at the end, such as the spyglass issue. Also at the end, a piece of posted mail gives the certain idea that “What might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.” It works for me, considering myself as a pessimist sometimes. It might work for you, too. Who knows? Have fun and stay cool.

Rating (out of five):



Atilla Karakurum (IE/IV)


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