you're reading...

Sin City

Saw it yesterday; mixed feelings. It’s endlessly compelling, and every frame is beautiful to look at. Extremely cool, often brilliant, often darkly funny. Innovative, tough cinema, constantly surprising, constantly jarring and completely relentless. But while I dont mind endless killing sprees – I loved Kill Bill – in Basin City the violence was just a bit too casual, too pointless, too stylized. When you dont even notice people getting chopped up, something has to be wrong.
Its supposed to be the most faithful graphic novel adaptation up to now – Putu, who’s read the book, certainly seems to think so. Three stories from Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novel series, chopped up and served.
Not having read the books, I have no idea what Josh Hartnett’s scenes were about. But I loved the Tarantino-directed sequence (Clive Owen in a car, driving the talking corpse of Benicio Del Toro, gun stuck in head, through pouring rain). And I love the fact that Robert Rodriguez also directed the Spy Kids series.
The men are all fallen heroes, tough and brutal, the woman (equally) completely unreal, but femmefatalegorgeous nevertheless- but its too chatty to be noir, and somehow falls just a little short of supercool. Its still more of a graphic novel than a movie – you can see the panel on every shot, and you can actually pause and walk away for a bit and come back without any significant loss of tension.
What a cast, though – I thought Mickey Rourke (Marv, tough-as-nails sometimes-psycho killer) and Elijah Wood (crazy calm cannibal Kevin, a soul-stealing, smiling assassin) were brilliant, though Clive Owen didnt make as much of an impact as he should have. Bruce Willis played Bruce Willis again. Definitely liked it, and will watch again – but its not as good as, say, Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill. Or Dark Knight Returns, for that matter. Very tough comparisons, given the cult following everything other movie/book Ive mentioned here has attained, but with a cast and crew like this, Sin City should have been a classic. Its not. But its still a must-see.


About Samit Basu

Novelist. Best known for fantasy and science fiction work. Most recently, The City Inside (Tordotcom)/Chosen Spirits (Simon and Schuster)


3 thoughts on “Sin City

  1. lol! linked ya!
    n i wanna watch sin city! wahaha!

    Posted by Teleute | June 6, 2005, 11:53 am
  2. I wouldn’t even call it an adaptation rather a literal “translation” from print to screen.
    Rodriguez comes out with his innovative camera work again and the editing’s top notch. (he cuts edits and scores all his movies, a true auteur)
    Josh Hartnett plays “The customer” which is from another one of Frank Miller’s graphic novels and Robert Rodriguez shot that scene as a test to show Frank Miller that the look of Sin city could be replicated on Digital Video appropriately. Frank Miller who had a bad experience with Hollywood in 92 did not want to option out any of his other work but he was impressed with the test video and Rodriguez offered him a chance to co direct as well. During editing Rodriguez decided to book end the movie with scenes of the customer.
    Personally I thought Mickey rourke gave the best performance

    Posted by anangbhai | June 6, 2005, 2:25 pm
  3. yeah! i liked the movie a lot and i enjoyed the fact that the violence doesn’t bother you while wtaching. for me the best thing of the movie was that it is visualy like nothing i’ve ever seen and very few movies tread that path these days. i agree with anangbhai that the moive is more a “translation” and that’s why Rodriguez even shares directorial credits with Miller (who incidentally made a cameo too as the priest) … and yes, the mickey rourke episode was the best of the three.

    Posted by Sagnik Nandy | June 6, 2005, 4:49 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Author pages/Buy books

Copyright (c) Samit Basu. Images copyright respective holders.
June 2005


%d bloggers like this: