Lord Jim (1965)
Reviewed on 2010 May 30
I am always a sucker for redemption stories; toss in exotic settings, an unusual soundtrack and an actor the caliber of Peter O’Toole, and you have something I must see. I finally got to see this and despite the slow pacing, and the silliness of Dahlia Lavi simply being credited as “the girl”, I wasn’t disappointed.
After a moment of panic and a poor cowardly decision that will apparently haunt him the rest of his life, a sailor known as Lord Jim (O’Toole) tries to run away from the world, and himself, by taking various jobs in remote Asian ports. (I’d think a good-looking, blonde, blue-eyed man would stick out over there like a tulip in a rose bed, but then we’d have neither story nor eye-candy.) Anyway, Jim’s conscience eats away at him as much as anything, and he decides to redeem himself when he meets some locals threatened by a warlord. Even the love of The Girl can’t persuade him to save his own skin now.
The thing I noticed right away was the Asian music, starting over the opening credits and used variously throughout the movie. The scenery was also wonderful, and come on, it had Peter O’Toole. Heck, when it dragged I just entertained myself looking at those blue eyes. Looks aside, his facial expressions convey volumes in this thing. I loved the Pilsener bit. My only gripe is…“The Girl”? Really? There’s no female name in an Asian dialect that translates into “quiet strength” or “plot device” or “nyah-nyah-I-got-paid-to-kiss-Peter-O’Toole” or something? It belabored the point of what can make a coward or a hero of a man, but it was still a good movie.
Three chocolate morsels.