To younger filmgoers Woody Allen is probably best known for a series of comedies. They will be surprised then to watch Allen's completely different film made a few years ago. Cassandra's Dream is a skillful combination of a morality play and a thriller that keeps the audience captive till the last scene.
Starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell, Cassandra's Dream tells the story of two hard-up brothers. In a desperate need for money – Ian (McGregor) dreams of breaking free from his class and starting his own business while Terry needs to pay off his gambling debts if he wants to stay alive – they agree to do their father's brother an unusual favour. Uncle Howard promises to finance their needs if they kill a colleague who wants to testify against him. What follows is a gripping story of how they fail to deal with the aftermath of the murder. Terry's gradual paranoia brought about by his pangs of conscience leads to Ian's increasing frustration and an unpredictable ending.
Apart from the story itself, the film's strong point is definitely the performance of the actors. Both McGregor and Farrell are very convincing as average guys who get involved in a scheme that is far from ordinary. The first brilliantly plays a seemingly cold-blooded high-flyer and Farrel's portrayal of Terry is so heart-moving that despite their crime we cannot help feeling sympathy for them.
Although Cassandra's Dream is not a nail-biting thriller, it can be definitely recommended to fans of twists of plot and suspense. As it provides an insight into the meanders of human nature it is also bound to appeal to those who like analysing moral dilemmas.
audience – widownia
skillful – umiejętny, sprytny
morality play – moralitet
hard-up – biedny
gambling debts – długi hazardowe
to testify – zeznawać
gripping – wciągający, skupiający uwagę
aftermath – konsekwencje (zwłaszcza katastrofy lub jakiegoś nieszczęśliwego wypadku)
gradual – stopniowy
pangs of conscience – wyrzuty sumienia
increasing – rosnący
convincing – przekonujący
average – przeciętny
ordinary – zwykły
scheme – plan
brilliantly – wspaniale
seemingly – pozornie
high-flyer – karierowicz, osoba wyjątkowo ambitna
sympathy – współczucie
twist of plot – zwrot akcji
suspense – napięcie
insight – wgląd
meanders – meandry, zawiłości
to appeal – przemawiać, docierać
to keep someone captive – skupiać czyjąś uwagę, trzymać w napięciu
to do someone a favour – wyświadczyć komuś przysługę
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