2 January 2006 | DICK STEEL
A Nutshell Review: (DVD) True Colors (1991)
This should be my "John Cusack" holiday weekend, with 2 DVDs rented starring the actor. Earlier, I had reviewed one of his earlier works when he was a teenager - Better Off Dead, and here, I'd think it probably is his first role as a slimeball.
John Cusack and James Spader (Sex, Lies and Videotape) play two friends, Peter Burton and Tim Gerrity, from Law School, and chronicles their friendship. They hit it off from a small automobile accident (pardon the pun), and progressed from minor adversaries, to best of friends. Until Peter's ambition gets the better of him, as he aims to become Congressman in 10 years.
From the start, we see a flip side to Peter's goody-two-shoes character. He always has something to hide, and has an ulterior motive to things that he does. He tells little white lies to get his way, and has a siege mentality that it's always him versus Them. He gets envious of Tim's seemingly good life, and coverts Tim's girlfriend Diana, who is the daughter of a Senator. And thus begins the Kane and Abel like story, of betrayals, and counter betrayals between the two men.
Peter gets involved with the mob in his bid to become elected, while Tim, working for the Justice Department, volunteers himself to get the dirt on Peter. It's always about the girl, or is it? And as Tim puts it aptly, only somebody close to you, can do the most damage. They know your secrets, and best of all, they have your trust. It's true though, if you think carefully about it, the best person to ruin you (reputation, etc), is none other than the person you trust the most. Again, looking at the two characters, there is no right or wrong, it all depends on the methods one uses to achieve one's goals.
It's also an interesting look at the shady dealings of politics, of allegiances made because of donations or help to campaign funding, of owing favors to those who voted in favor of you. Things are never that simple, and the mantra shared by both characters are, so long as you don't get caught.
John Cusack has got this charismatic charm, and in this film, uses it well as he seeks to become a politician (you have to have charisma as you deliver those speeches). James Spader too holds his own, as the naive Tim, who slowly discovers betrayal, and decides to turn the tables against the hunter. Fans of John Cusack, you must catch this! Code 1 DVD is the bare bones version, aside from the usual audio and scene selections.