17 January 2019 | andrewestrella
Not as Good of a Film as the Camera Wants You to Believe
The first time I saw Cold War, I fell asleep halfway through it at AFI Fest 2018. That was my fourth film of the day, and I was extremely tired. I felt very bad, so I was very eager for when the film would be released to the public so that I could give it another try. Today is that day.
Well, after seeing it for a second time (and unfortunately being two to three minutes late), I actually think there was more than tiredness that caused me to fall asleep in the first screening. I truly think that Cold War is the epitome of what style over substance is. This film has such a bad plot, uninteresting characters, and a story that flashed through more than a decade in eighty-five minutes. Cold War tries to disguise its faults with spectacular black and white cinematography, a stunning vocal score, and a pretentious choice of a historical time period, but I was not fooled for one bit.
The plot was so thin that I could not even begin to describe how ridiculously simple, yet annoying it was:
"Man who is a musical director finds a female singer with incredible talent. He leads her to fame. One day they eye-flirt at a party. They bang pretty intensely. Then, one year goes by without talking to each other. They meet one day on the sidewalk. They both declare they have significant others. But, because of their erratic attraction for each other, they have intercourse again. And then they bang again and again. Then they go on tour. She gets more famous. Then, five years go by. After not speaking to each other, they meet each other yet again. They both declare they are married to other people. But because of their lustful nature, they BANG yet again. And again. Then they decide to drop their husband/wife and become a couple. They start to fight. Then they bang to make up. Then she gets mad at him. Then she slaps him. Then seven years go by. They bang. Then, they get married. The end."
In other words, the plot of this film revolves around two people whose love affair can be simplified as "hey baby, let's get it on." There is hardly any dialogue between them that is romantically sincere. It is all just sexual or boring exposition. I felt nothing for these two people. And I really didn't care.
For all you love it to death, good for you. But I prefer films with better developed characters at the expense of extremely pretentious cinematography. How about the Before Trilogy that isn't beautifully shot by any means, but the characters are excellently portrayed.
All in all, I wish this film was better than the camera thinks it is.