Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Player (1992)

Director: Robert Altman
Writer:    Michael Tolkin
Cast:       Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Peter Gallaghar

Tim Robbins plays the role of Griffin Mill, a Hollywood studio executive, who is being sent death threats by a writer whose script he rejected. He proceeds to find out the identity of the writer leading to a bad outcome.

The film starts with a masterfully done seven minutes long  single take in which some of the characters laments about the MTV era fast cuts that are prevalent now in films. It follows several groups of people coming in and out of the scene. Rob Altman always had problems with the studio system with his films doing badly at box office despite critical success. He had largely worked outside the system and this film is one he made within the system poking fun at it. It has a strange vibe to it with the paranoia exhibited by the protagonist and many other characters who will be very comfortable in a Lynchian or a Coen universe. The comedy is really dark and of particular relevance these days as the studio system has gone even further down the drain with shitty remakes and franchises. 

There are around sixty actors making cameo appearances playing themselves. It was also good to see Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold) playing a studio exec.

Rating: 5/5