‘The Councellor’ – Film Thoughts/Review

Cormac McCarthy first film screenplay, has gotten the attention of Ridley Scott to make ‘THE COUNCELLOR’ a new 18 film, with an all-star cast lead by Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Barbem, and Brad Pitt. Already causing chaos on its release for it change in spelling to the UK audience (an added L to the title, then that of the US one), it ending up meaning a different term to what it was meant to be used for. That and it was heavily reported that Diaz had come in during post to redub her scenes, as she sounded ‘’too much like Rhianna’’.

Regarding McCarthy’s screen writing debut, it somewhat makes the film a hassle to watch. The language used in this is written as if he has attempted to write his own modernised/moulded version of Shakespeare. Every word, item and thought inhabited has to be explained by the character, and usually done by using analogizes, while moving the narrative like Shakespeare (some of his narrative beats do come to play here). Now this is fine, but when lines don’t make much sense/contribute to the overall narrative or themes of the film, you just feel like it’s trying to show off really. You can tell if there is an issue with the script that even the world class actors in this have issues saying the lines (look up the parodies online right now), one of which is Cameron Diaz who you really can tell is having an issue with the clunky lines. Perhaps it’s under directed, maybe Ridley Scott should have worked with the actors more to make it flow. It does make you think how Tony Scott, if he directed it – would have done.

If there is something good thought to come from this script, it is that off how it’s very much presented as a stage play (keeping with its own take on Shakespeare). Every scene ends as if it’s an act, in fact looking at it now it probably would have been better on stage. There is good support though, John Leguizamo, Toby Kebbell and Natalie Dormer do turn up briefly, and there is some beautiful cinematography. But again people will give up on this film, as under the flashy images and language there really isn’t anything there for audiences to participate in and get anything fulfilling from.  Is it the worst film of the year? No – not by a longshot, it isn’t. For me (and again people will hate it) I didn’t think it was that bad, but it was just unfulfilling. With a cast and crew blueprint like this you do expect more, and there is a room for a story like this about greed and such.   

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