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The Counselor

The CounselorI almost didn’t bother writing this up at all. But then I felt an obligation to alert the Chickflix readers… that I really hated it. The fact that it features an A-list cast makes The Counselor all the more disappointing. I’d love to be able to encapsulate the plot, but I really don’t have a clue. All I know is that Michael Fassbender plays a lawyer who’s mixed up in some underworld drug dealings that begin to take a heavy toll on his personal and professional life. His girlfriend (Penelope Cruz) is blissfully unaware. His “friends” (Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt) don’t exactly have his best interests at heart. And I don’t know what Cameron Diaz is supposed to be playing. Whatever it is… it’s creepy, and gross. If you haven’t already heard about her display of ‘auto erotica’, count your blessings.

And oh yeah – there’s also lots of violence, and a beheading!

A few critics (with a capital ‘C’) may find some redeeming value in this film from director Ridley Scott and writer Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men), but hey, I’m no critic. I just call ‘em as I see ‘em. And this is one fall flick that I don’t ever care to see again. I just wish I could erase that image of Diaz ‘doing’ a sports car. Ick.

2 Comments

  1. Daisy, August 17, 2015:

    Hannah,

    You are right about one thing: You don’t have a clue. What would possess you to “review” a film that it seems you barely watched? You may want to watch it again. The scene that seems to have disturbed you the most was interesting because the viewer sees it after Reiner tells the counselor about it. Reiner is horrified by it, he is reminded of a bottom-feeding sucker fish going up and down the sides of an aquarium, which is a glimpse of what Malkina is about…Cameron Diaz plays her part to a tee, superb acting. Also, Reiner is not so much a friend as a business associate, but he does try to do the counselor a favor and advise him not to get involved in the deal. The counselor is operating under the illusion that he can score a few million from this deal without getting his hands dirty, that somehow he can remain clean and untouched, just a little wealthier. He thinks he is so smart and above the others. Notice his Armani suits. But, like the snuff films mentioned, he is not just an observer, he is already part of the act. Everything is cool in his little world until he inadvertently helps out “the Green Hornet”, who he does not know is a key player in moving the drugs. NOW you can begin to fully comprehend some of the philosophical discussion that may have seemed cryptic. The counselor is a marked man now by the cartel. There is no way to wiggle his way out, no explaining…the cartel does not believe in coincidences. He has made a fatal error. Only it is not him who will die. We hurt the ones we love. The monologue delivered by the jefe at the end of the movie, that alone is worth watching this movie for and anyone who has some life experience behind them will relate. As far as the violence, personally I don’t typically enjoy gratuitous violence and a lot of movies leave me cold because of it. However, there was almost a respectful quality to the way the violent parts of this movie were presented. There were clear signs it would occur and the scenes were over quickly. The violence in this movie was true, it is a reality of the drug business. Think about that next time you do a line. In fact, it is not just the drug business. People suffer tremendously all over the world, the earth suffers, because we continue to be oblivious to the reality of pain and ugliness that we don’t want to know we are responsible for every time we shop for instance, and buy cheap clothes made in foreign countries, we just smugly boast what a good deal we got. And yet, just as the big cats represent, we are all both prey and predator, that is the law of life to an extent. The Counselor may not be for everyone, but there is great acting, wardrobe, directing, and it is definitely atypical and the great dialogue was reminiscent of the movies I enjoy from the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. I really think you should watch it again.

  2. Hannah Buchdahl, August 17, 2015:

    Hi Daisy,
    Thanks for weighing in. I don’t think I need to watch it again, but I certainly respect your opinion and hope it provides added context for those who may better appreciate the genre and the narrative. Movies are subjective beasts. That’s why I never attempt to “rate” movies and instead offer up what I freely admit is my personal ‘mainstream’ perspective. It’s also why both Arty Chick and I are more than happy to provide a space and a place for people to disagree with us and to add their two cents!

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