25 September 2005 | jotix100
"Rick" is loosely based on Rigoletto, the tragic clown of Verdi's opera. Don't look to this film to find any parallel between the tragic court jester and the man at the center of it, Rick O'Lette, as the film is loosely based on the opera.
Curtiss Clayton, an editor who has started to direct his own projects, is an enormously talented man, as he shows with this indie film that we missed when it was released. "Rick" also has the powerful writing of Daniel Handler, who wrote the screen play. The film was a neat discovery, perhaps because we had no expectations of what was coming. Much credit is owed to its director who shows great style in telling the story for the screen.
If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you would like to stop reading here.
Rick, who we meet at the beginning of the film walking to his office, is one of the new breed of heartless executives, occupying important places within a company. As such, he is a man that feels above and beyond people like Michelle, an eager job applicant, who commits the sin of entering Rick's office when she shouldn't, only to interrupt Rick from watching the results of sports on his computer. When he finally calls her, he proceeds to belittle the young woman in a manner that is completely uncalled for. Of course, Michelle doesn't get the job!
We then meet Rick's boss, a ninety day wonder called Duke, who is just as obtuse as his employee, and much younger. A punk in business attire. Duke is just a repulsive individual who loves to visit porno chat rooms to get his kicks. Later that night while drinking, Rick and Duke find out Michelle, the would be employee, is their waitress at the club. Rick is completely offensive toward the woman, who has had it and she proceeds to tell him off, and is fired because of it. Michelle tells Rick, in no uncertain terms, that she hopes he will have to suffer for all what she has put her through. Never were these words more fitting.
Things are not much better at home where we see Eve, Rick's daughter chatting on the computer. Eve is a sad young woman. Evidently her mother has died, although nothing is revealed as to what happened. Rick, as a father shows not much warmth toward Eve.
When a former college friend, mysteriously visits Rick, we are not ready for what is coming next. Buck has a proposition for Rick that, at first, he is reluctant to comply with, but in retrospect, he goes along, but he has no clue of what an ironic fate awaits Rick at the end. It's almost as though the curse Michelle put on Rick had its effect when he least expected it.
Bill Pullman makes Rick a despicable individual without any redeeming qualities. Mr. Pullman does a wonderful job to convey this yuppie with the heart in the wrong place. The beautiful Agnes Bruckner plays Eve, Rick's daughter, who knows much more for her young age than some older, more experienced person. She is one of the best of the new actresses acting in films these days. Aaron Stanford is the reptilian Duke. Sandra Oh is wonderful as Michelle. Dylan Baker, a great character actor of stage and screen has a few excellent moments as Buck.
This is a film that should be seen by a wider audience. It proves that Curtiss Clayton is a director to be reckoned with.