27 June 2004 | spearsdw
Strange, allegorical drama about the struck-up-on-the-spot relationship between two passengers in a New York City subway car: a black man (Al Freeman Jr.) and a white woman (Shirley Knight) flirt with each other and engage in adult banter. As they alternately beguile and exasperate each other, their conversation reflects the sexual and racial tensions between them. The film is set entirely in the subway car, making for a claustrophobic atmosphere. Knight overacts some of the time (ok, a LOT of the time), laughing loudly, rolling her eyes, and touching Freeman in places where the NYC Transit Authority would probably prefer its patrons to not be touched, but she's never less than interesting and Freeman's more-subdued performance balances things out (although he gets to deliver a blistering, angry monologue near the end). DUTCHMAN's shocking climax is a disturbing culmination of the provocative racial and social themes presented in the film; the film's hour-long length allows for these ideas to have immediate impact.