Dr. Venkman's DVD Review: Cassandra's Dream

by Joey Paur

'Cassandra's Dream' was written and Directed by Woody Allen, Starred Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, and Tom Wilkinson. It had a limited release in January of 2008 and made around $971,000.00.I didn't know what to expect before I popped this movie into my DVD player. I vaguely remembered the movie trailer and that it looked interesting. I had no expectations for the movie. I forgot that Woody Allen even directed until his name came up which was a nice surprise. The movie is definitely different from any other film Allen has directed before. It is a dark film, but Allen did a great job building these characters up and them breaking them down. While watch the movie I was able to feel the frustrations of the characters. I was really drawn into the movie.

This movie is a great character study. The whole first half of the movie is dedicated to getting to know the two main characters Ian (McGregor) and Terry (Farrell). These characters have many layers to them. Ian is built up as a selfish person everything he does and asks for is all for the benefit of himself, at the same time he is kind of a likable guy, or maybe that's the face he puts on. He wants out of his current situation and lifestyle and wants to make a big change in his life and he thinks investing money into California hotels is his ticket to success and easy money. Only thing is he has no money to invest with. Terry on the other hand is a genuine nice guy, and a hard worker. You really like him, the only thing is he has a gambling and drinking problem. He's up and he down, he wins big, then gets himself into a huge amount of debt. Each of these characters is looking for a way to remedy their current situations.

Enter the rich Uncle Howard played by Tom Wilkinson. He comes through town on his way to California to visit. Ian and Terry see this as the perfect opportunity to hit him up for some cash which they do. Howard doesn't seem to have a problem with it but he asks for a favor in return. That favor is to kill someone that could ruin Howard's life and business. The scene when this all takes place is an amazing scene. You really are able to feel the weight of what Howard is asking his nephews to do. It is from this point that the movie turns and the characters show their true colors who they really are deep inside. It gets really intense.

The acting is incredible. Everyone in this movie is amazing. I am not a big fan of Collin Farrell but he was great in the movie! I think it is his best role so far. He played a character that is different than any other character he has played. Ewan McGregor was fantastic as well. He's got this look in his eyes throughout the movie that kind of makes you feel uncomfortable. When you watch it you will see what I mean. Tom Wilkinson was incredibly intense in this movie, especially during that one scene. "Family is family! Blood is blood!"

The film shows what normal nice people who turn desperate and selfish are capable of when pushed in a corner with no where else to turn. They have two options to choose from; right or wrong. It is not a waste of time or money. When you get a chance rent ‘Cassandra's Dream'. This is a great movie with a solid story and strong characters.

-Dr. Venkman

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