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馬龍影評

Peter Malone是 SIGNIS主 席 , 有 31 年 影 評 的 經 驗 , 並 出 任 16 個 國 際 影 展 如 柏 林 影 展 、 威 尼 斯 影 展 的 評 判 , 可 以 堪 稱 為 「 電 影 百 科 全 書 」 !

Changing Lanes

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by Peter Malone,4-12-2002

Changing Lanes (This movie is now showing in Hong Kong)

Director: Roger Mitchell
Cast: Ben Affleck, Samuel L Jackson, Toni Collette
Category: IIA (Not Suitable for Children)
Duration: 100 minutes

After the annual mass last month for the Los Angeles-based association, Catholics in Media, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, who presided, presented the 2002 award for best film dramatising values to Changing Lanes. He noted that most of the action takes place on Good Friday and that the film showed the pain of human struggle for integrity.

Changing Lanes, with its grim picture of human failings, might seem an unusual choice for such an award. However, many 'secular' critics have been favourably impressed by its attempt to dramatise ethical issues (even though most did not notice or mention the Good Friday connection). The film is directed by British Roger Michel (Persuasion, Notting Hill).

The characters are not particularly sympathetic. They show the 'shadow' side of all of us. Ben Affleck is the upwardly mobile lawyer who has married the daughter of the boss and is involved in a case where pressure has been brought to bear on a senile client so that the firm can manage his estate as a charity. Samuel L.Jackson is an insurance officer who is an alcoholic, separated from his wife and children yet trying to do the right thing by them. On Good Friday morning, both are hurrying to the courts. The lawyer changes lanes and they crash.

We live in an era of rage. What begins as road rage escalates into out and out war as two grown men indulge in meanness and cruelty under the intense pressure of their personal problems. The lawyer needs to retrieve documents found by the insurance man. The insurance man needs a loan to buy a house for his wife and children.

At the Catholics in Media function, co-writer Michael Tolkin said that elements of the dialogue were specifically religious. When the angry and desperate Jackson sits in a bar, he telephones his AA counsellor (William Hurt) who tells him that 'he has broken his covenant'. When Affleck passes a Church, he sees the veneration of the Cross of the Good Friday liturgy. He goes in and vents his anger and bewilderment to the priest in the confessional.

The struggles of the two men remind us of our own struggles to control our animosities and angers. The two men are also challenged by their wives and other associates to reflect on who they are, on the integrity that ought to be essential in our lives. Jackson is described as being addicted to chaos. Affleck is continually tempted by the law partners to sell his soul for profit.

Maybe the ending is more optimistic than is justified. On the other hand, the sufferings of Jesus on Good Friday are spoken of in terms of reconciliation between us sinners and a forgiving God. After the passion comes the resurrection. On a modest scale, this is what happens in Changing Lanes.

 



連鎖導火線 (本片目前正在香港上映)

導演:羅渣米修
演員:賓艾佛力、森姆積遜、東妮歌莉蒂
級別:IIA (兒童不宜)
片長:100分鐘

設於美國洛杉磯的天主教傳播協會在上月舉行年終感恩祭後,擔任主席的羅渣麥漢尼樞機頒發2002年最佳電影劇情價值獎予<連鎖導火線>。他指出,片中的動作情節大多發生在耶穌受難日,展示出人類為爭取正直所受的痛苦。

<連鎖導火線>嚴峻地描寫人類的墮落,獲頒此獎可能會顯得有點不尋常。然而,許多「大眾化」的影評亦欣賞本片以戲劇手法處理倫理道德問題,使人印象深刻(縱使大部份影評並無留意或談及電影跟耶穌受難日的關係)。<連鎖導火線>由英國人羅渣米修執導(<流言>、<摘星奇緣>的導演)。

故事人物並非特別惹人同情,他們顯示出人性「陰暗」的一面。賓艾佛力飾演一名事業如日方中的律師,性格善變,娶了老闆的女兒作妻子。他正處理一宗年老客戶的財產官司,備受壓力。森姆積遜飾演一名酗酒的保險從業員,與妻子及孩子分居,目前正努力改善與她們的關係。耶穌受難日的早上,兩人正趕往法庭,其中賓的車子突然切線,兩人的車子相撞起來。

我們身處忿怒的年代,由交通意外所帶來的忿怒逐漸變成大戰:兩名成年男士因著個人問題所承受的壓力,漸漸陷入這場卑鄙及殘酷的角力。任職律師的賓要從保險員森姆手上取回在車禍中遺失的文件,森姆則需要一筆貸款為妻兒購買新居。

在美國洛杉磯的天主教傳播協會的頒獎禮上,聯合編劇米高托金指出,<連>片的對白具有特別的宗教意義。當憤怒絕望的森姆積遜坐在酒吧,致電給戒酒輔導員(威廉赫特飾演),他告訴森姆破壞了彼此間的契約;當賓經過聖堂時,他看到受人景仰的耶穌受難禮的十字架。他走進教堂向神父懺悔,並將自己的憤怒及困惑一一告之。

兩位男主角之間的鬥爭提醒我們在鬥爭中要控制自己仇恨及憤怒。主角們的妻子及周遭人物,不時挑戰主角倆的身份及每人應有的忠誠特質。片中森姆積遜被描繪為一個沉溺混亂的男人,賓艾佛力則不斷受到同事的誘惑,為利益出賣自己的靈魂。

或許結局較預期更積極樂觀,另一方面,本片以我們罪人與寬宏天主的修和,表達了耶穌在受難日的苦難,激動過後就是復活的來臨;以樸實的角度來看,這就是<連鎖導火線>的內容。

翻譯:羅展凰
編輯:王慧慈

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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