Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Falling Down 
Falling Down was a strong diatribe against facets that have come to represent the flip side of the American Dream – nationalistic jingoism, latent racial prejudice, patronizing attitude towards foreigners, chasm between haves and have-nots, cold and heartless corporatization, broken families, and so forth. Replace night in Scorsese’s After Hours with day, and black comedy with a more serious tone, and you have a fair idea about this film. Set in LA, the day starts on a bad note with William Foster (Michael Douglas), a seemingly average American man in white shirt and tie, getting stuck in a monstrous traffic jam, and the nightmarish day – easily the worst in his life – progressively goes from bad to worse. He wants to meet his kid daughter on her birthday, but his paranoid ex-wife is against it. And, to make matters worse, he is harangued by an uncooperative Korean shopkeeper, Mexican hoodlums, a hungry mendicant, the pompous employees of a fast-food restaurant, and his former wife trying to shoo him away, with the sight of a man who is declared “not economically viable” by a bank striking a deep chord with him. And the combination of these causes psychological meltdown of this angry, frustrated and emotionally unstable man, leading to bad consequences for all. Meanwhile, a cop (Robert Duvall), on the last day of his job, inadvertently becomes the investigator. Douglas gave a top-drawer performance, managing to underline his character with a strong layer of tragedy and poignancy. The film, by the way, wasn’t without its pitfalls and broad-strokes, and the aspect of celebrity-hood too could have been touched upon to add a further layer of dark irony.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller