‘The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders’ Netflix movie review

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In his third collaboration with Christian Balewith The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders director Scott Cooper stages a criminal and existential investigation around a world poised between life and death. The premises are good, the results more questionable despite the excellent performances of the interpreters among which the protagonists stand out Christian Balee of Harry Melling in the role of Edgard Allan Poe.

The Pale Blue Eyes it’s the new movie Netflix Of Scott Cooper.

The Pale Blue Eyes by Scott Cooper

That of Scott Cooper it has always been an underrated cinema. The judgment towards him has never changed even when some of his feature films have been the subject of interest for the great performances of the actors who took part in them. If there are many who remember that of Jeff bridgeswinner of the Academy Award for Best Male Performer as the alcoholic singer by Crazy heartthe performances of Christian Balenothing short of superlative in two films by Cooper, Out of Furnace and especially Hostilesignored by the Academy even in the nomination stage.

Too violent and with a redemption hypothesis not strong enough to satisfy the tastes of theestablishment Hollywood style, Cooper’s cinema is wrong in pursuing a classicism which, above all in the austerity of the form and the invisibility of the direction, fails to make inroads among the younger audience, the one that any project with commercial ambitions cannot give up . Hence the awareness of being faced with an author who, if anything, can be blamed for the lack of a leap forward, capable of bringing his characters out of the shadow of an existentialism that concedes little or nothing to cover glamor.

Tormented and seeking redemption, Cooper’s men and women often find revenge as a way to silence their demons, knowing that they will soon return to show up.

The review

The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders is no exception, resulting almost as a variation on themes and characters already present in the working union of Cooper and Bale, if it is true that detective August Landor also carries with him an existential imprisonment and a pain of gaze resulting from a past to which the revenge on evil – represented here by the assassination of some West Point cadets (we are in 1830) and by the investigation that will lead to the discovery of the culprit – will only partially serve to heal their wounds. Actually The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders marks a step forward in its author’s filmography from a wholly contemporary point of view, assembling genres (from horror to thriller, from costume drama to police drama) and presenting itself as a sort of crossover between cinema and literature due to the presence of a young Edgard Allan Poestill far from his great literary productions, but already melancholy enough to appear as a co-star in a gothic tale like the one set up by Cooper.

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Reason and madness in The Pale Blue Eyes

Basing the progression of the story on the results of the investigation and on the conflict between reason and madness, The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders multiplies the mysteries and surprises, favored by a plot in which logic is called upon to confront the diabolical and the occult. In doing so, Cooper works above all on the staging, amplifying the spectral dimension and the coexistence between life and death (announced by Poe in the introduction phase) through a candlelit photograph, in which the black of the night is the same as that of the interiors, perpetually immersed in endless darkness. What doesn’t return, however, is the quality of the writing and the precision of the mechanism which, especially in the genre in question, would need, at least in the decisive junctions, to arrive at the turning point with probative evidence, where The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders it remains slack in the evidences that are not such, provided as it is with off-screen deductions of which only the final outcome remains to the spectator. Where he would be called to sink the blow The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders it remains on the surface of the facts, summarized with a series of forcings whose only result is to make a basic idea that, well developed, could lead to other existences lose power.

That said The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders it is a film that one watches to the end also thanks to the interpretations of Bale and, in the part of the famous writer, to an excellent Harry Mellinggood at indulging the idea of ​​an existential exploration around their respective characters.

After the technical release in a few selected cinemas, from 6 January The Pale Blue Eyes – The West Point Murders is visible on Netflix.


The article is in Italian

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