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Tightrope
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Showing 1-3 of 3 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2000
Tightrope opens with the familiar credits that mark most of Clint Eastwood's films : Malpaso films presents...over an arial shot of car crossing a bridge. What is most surprising about this film is that writer/director Richard Tuggle uses the familiar framework of the "serial killer" movie to explore themes of guilt, sadomasochism, sexism and paranoia. Even more surprising is the fact that he explores those qualties in his hero, not the killer.
Eastwood stars as Wes Block, a New Orleans cop investigating the murders of several prostitutes who were tortured, raped and strangled. On his journey through the brothels of the city we sense that he has been there before, not as cop, but as a customer. Eastwood has the usual throwaway lines that have made his Harry Callahan character so famous, as when a prostitute apporches him "Want some honey?", "I don't eat sweets" he replies. But where Callahan draws knowing smirks from the audience, Block only draws gasps. Eastwood lets us know that any outward confidence he projects is merely a mask over his guilt. This leads to an early riveting scene where he interviews a hooker about her murdered friend "Did she mention anybody using handcuffs?" he asks. "I think it was a cop, maybe it was you" she jokes. The look on Eastwood's is face is one of such anguish, that he may even suspect himself. This one of Eastwood's best and bravest performances.
The scenes in the brothels and over the corpses are contrasted with surprisingly warm domestic scenes of Block the single parent raising his two daughters. The contrast is alarming, and the children are perhaps the only reason why he hasn't gone over the edge just yet. There is a particularly chilling suggestion in Tightrope that Block maybe vicariously living his fantasies through the killer.
On a physcological level the film is an original, where it falters is the plot. Perhaps inorder to get the film made, Tuggle was forced to add all the well worn cliches, such as the obligatory chase climax and the unmasking of the killer. He also has a tendancy to hammer home his points, as in the unnessecary dream sequence where Eastwood imagines he is the killer.
Some could persuasively argue the film wallows in excesses of depravity. I would disagree, an exploitation film tries to find a token story to hold acres of naked flesh and gore. A real film is driven to these taboo places BY its story. Tightrope is a real film. In its moody and intelligent way it suggests an innate depravity within the mildest of men.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2003
After attending New Orleans' Jazz and Heritage Festival 2003, I had to watch this movie, and watch for some features not mentioned in the other excellent reviews already given this film.
First of all, there is the title song played by great New Orleans' jazz saxophonist James Rivers, whom Eastwood also chose to play on "Bridges of Madison County" (the secret roadside club scene) and on "Bird". Rivers is an accomplished musician on sax, flute, harmonica, and bagpipes (yes!) - check him out!
Then, there is the cemetery chase scene. This is the cemetery in which author Anne Rice played as a child, and features graves that feature in her books. A fake mausoleum was built to hide Eastwood in the chase scene.
I am putting in my order for the DVD!
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on April 11, 2001
Clint Eastwood portrays New Orleans cop Wes Block, a single parent with two daughters (including real life daughter Alison) who also has a dark side - he likes to patronize prostitutes in the local red light district. His after dark habits start to hit close to home when each successive prostitute he has been with turns up dead, strangled with a pretty red ribbon. A rape crisis counselor (Genevieve Bujold) wants to get involved in the investigation, and Block's resistance to the idea wanes when he realizes he has feelings for her. Unusual, dark, and intriguing - possibly Eastwood's only police role where we get so much into his psyche. Most enjoyable.
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