No 499 - Saw
Director - James Wan
As I wait to get Ocean's 11 (No 500) and begin the countdown properly, I have been forced to move to the next available film. Saw.
Now, I'm gonna tell the truth (because apparently that's what you do in Blogs) - I was not looking forward to watching Saw. I've seen adverts for the Saw series and have heard tales of the film and the idea of hyper violence has never been that appealing. It is for the same reason that I tend to avoid the work of Beat Takeshi and Eli Roth - Call me a prude but I don't understand this idea that people would genuinely find Gorenography appealing.
So with great trepidation I sat down in font of Saw. I was preparing myself for ingenious shots of people being violently ripped to pieces in over calculated and overtly gory ways.
So imagine my surprise when I found a film that was nothing like what I'd anticipated.
Saw is really good. Dark, twisted with a fantastic villain. The film's tone is what surprised me. I was really expecting a film which delighted in showing lingering scenes of torture porn - but what I found was much more like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre... with most (but by no means all) the violence happening off camera or just implied.
Saw is a film which leans closer to Se7en than to Hostel... In fact, this is a similarity that needs to be made because it seems that Saw is trying everything to be like Se7en. The second plot is basically a more action orientated version of the plot for Se7en - as two policemen search various murder scenes to learn about the killer and stop them.
This plot gives us the excellent character that is Danny Glover's struck off detective who is going slowly insane. It is nice to see Danny Glover being bad-ass and as he staggers around brandishing a pistol with his awesome scars and half loon giggle he is the very antithesis of Morgan Freeman's sombre police officer in Se7en. And here ends my little similarities bit... As I want to talk about the magical Lost element to this film:
So before season 4 of Lost occurred, we had this - uniting Ken Leung and the excellent and mighty Michael Emerson ((I) - according to IMDb).
Michael Emerson is a legend - he is brilliant as creepy calculating Henry Ford in Lost and he is brilliantly creepy in this. I'd quite like to see him not be creepy.... Because he might not be so brilliant. But he is brilliant in this. I should stop saying brilliant really, its getting to the point where the word stops looking right.
Anyway... Interspersed with the cop drama bit is the bit that the film is famous for, and the following series milks to high heaven. Two men chained to opposite sides of a room with a corpse, a bullet and a hacksaw.
And the slow lingering descent into insanity which occurs in the room.
In fact - this film seems to be quite a somber look at obsession and insanity with all parties slowly going mad. Be they chained up victims, plotting mass murderers or single minded obsessive cops. It is also asking us to take a good hard look at our life and see if we are making the most of it. But I'm ignoring this point for 2 reasons:
1) It really wants the viewer to ask that question. Heavy handily forcing it into our faces. Therefore, I choose to ignore it for its lack of subtlety.
2) I'm writing a blog about watching Empire's 500 greatest films of all time.... If anything spells out a wasted life, it is this.
Oh Jigsaw.... It looks like I'm going to die