Monday, November 17, 2008

(Un)Holy Trinity 2: Duvall Times Three

Hearty Hellos, my freeky fellows!!!
I have to admit, that it hasn't been that long since the first (Un)Holy Trinity Column was unbleashed upon you but then, as any good Hollywoodian (is that even a word?) will tell you, one good outing, surely deserves a sequel, and so here it is...

Episode 2: Duvall X 3:

I'm sure you will freeking agree, that while we tend to associate movies, with their leading stars , the buxom leading lady, or the poster -boy leading man, ever so often there comes along a freekingly talented actor that manages to steal the show, no matter who is pitted against him, or what the larger palette of the movie is. One such talented freek, is the legendary Mr. Robert Duvall, who as you will read later in this post, has not only managed be part of some legendary cinematic ventures, but to leave an indelible mark through his talent...and so without freeking ado:

1) To Kill a Mockingbird:

If there ever is a movie, that leaves a veritable lump in your throat on every viewing, a movie that reminds you of the need to stand for what is good, moral and just in this world, a movie whose lead character : Atticus Finch, is repeatedly voted as the greatest cinematic hero of all times, in several fanboy polls; well it the cinematic portrayal of Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird". And while Greogry Peck's masterful portrayal as Atticus deserves due praise, it is Duvall's portrayal of the reclusive, mumbling hick:

BOO RADLEY, that deserves a special mention! It is this very character that the Finch children (from whose perspective the book/novel is based) mention in hushed terms as an urban legend, and it is this very character that acts as an unlikely guardian angel to these kids, from the enemies that their righteous father unwittingly makes!! So convincing is Duvall's performance that you'd never guess the range of his roles that were to follow....

2.Apocalypse Now:

My cup of freekyness flloweth over!!! an all star-cast (read: Brando, Sheen, Harrison Ford), a rebel direcor (Coppola at his best!!), this movie has freeking classic written all over it!! while urban legends hiss about the director and his stellar cast, being high on all sorts of hallucinatory substances while making this film, Duvall's character in this stellar piece can be enjoyed throroughly, without any recourse to any freaky "substance" all together!!!

Duvall plays a battle hardened surfing-fanatic : Lt. Kilgore, who meets up with our heroes, in their quest to find the reclusive rebel...played by Mr. Brando. It is at Kilgore's whim, that a horde of attack helicopters. bomb the freeking hell of a vietnamese village, (click on the link for a piece of freeking movie awesomeness!!!) - imagine truckloads of napalm hurled near a river-bed, all, so that Mr. Kilgore can manage to indulge in his favourite pastime: surfing!!!

It's the same Mr. Kilgore, that puts across one of the greatest cinematic one-liners ever....

(click on the freeking link already!!!!)


My! is that strawberry hand-lotion i smell?
Yes, yes, u freeks have heard of this one, and yes it's about the Corleone boys, their daddy dearest, and more coolness than you can offload in a dumpster! but then the Godfather is also (in parts) the story of a German-Irish homeless boy, who is brought up by the Corleone family, and grows up to become Don Vito Corleone's consigliori. This boy; Tommy Hagen, is mellow enough to put a baby to sleep, check out the scene where is sent by the Don to negotiate Johnny Fontane's Hollywood contract, with big-shot producer Jack Woltz, and while verbally lashed at by Woltz, Hagen still congratulates Jack on his movie-making skills, and manages to execute, the most vicious threat ever put on cinema...

Imagine the Laundry Bills!!

(click on the pic, for the awesome scene...)

Duvall playing Tom, in the sequel gives another glimpse ofawesomeness; check out the scene pictured below, where he suggests to Salavatore Tessio (to the left of Duvall in the pic) who has betrayed Michael that he commit suicide, if he would like his family to be untouched!!

It is about Tom Hagen, that Michael Corleone gives the subtle, yet resonant commendation: " he is a good consigliori, not a siclian, but a good consiligori!" - understated? maybe...but they come from a man who succeeds none other than Don Vito Corleone, in becoming the most feared Don in his time!
It is interesting to note the interplay of Tom (Duvall) and Sonny's (James Caan) characters (i.e. a clash of their introspective and hot-headed natures) which comes to fore, when the Godfather is shot in cold-blood, Sonny's itchy trigger finger is kept on on hold by the persuasions of Tommy, till such time Michael (Al Pacino) decides to join the family business.
While Duvall lent an subtle yet stern presence in the first and second Godfather movies, his character was undeservedly killed of in the box office failure: Godfather III...rumour is that Duvall demanded ( and i beleive rightly so) equal remuneration to that of Al Pacino to reappear in the third part, and while Coppola's original plot dealt with a clash of ideology between Tommy and Michael, Duvall's increased fee demand, led to his character being written off..and a sub-standard (is compared to the other parts) plot being in there you have it folks, it was not the mafia, or the cops that bought the Corleone family down ( at the box-office at least) it was the lack of their stellar consigliori, played by Duvall!!!
So, there you have it folks 3 legendary movies, 3 amazing characterisations...and one hell of a freeking actor - Robert Duvall!!
An extra freeky: Duvall was honoured by the US President , Bush, at the White House in recognition of his acting skills! Kudos sir!!

1 comment:

reevi said...

Duval unfortunately will always be one of the best supporting actors.
Much like the more recent Garry Sinese...


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