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Out of The Past

I have to say I was looking forward to seeing this film with great expectations, sadly I was let down. The characters weren’t very compelling, the plot was somewhat interesting but midway through the film I had completely checked out and I had no idea what was going on by the end of picture. I had to keep asking a fellow classmate what was going on and how did the woman they were searching for in the beginning of the film become the antagonist, seriously. Perhaps a second viewing of the film would help me appreciate this classic noir-film to some degree or at the very least make the plot twists a little bit more understandable. Something I did notice throughout the film, in almost every single scene one of the characters’ had a cigarette in their mouth, unlike movies today where one hardly sees actors smoking on screen. I wonder if the tobacco companies were pushing for their product to be showcased in such a  cool and seductive way.

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~ by Jean-Joseph on October 8, 2010.

3 Responses to “Out of The Past”

  1. It’s interesting that so many noir films ARE so confusing and convoluted. And I don’t think it is just a fluke that you found Kathy’s character so slippery and unstable. We are used to finding characters we can relate to, identify with, or at least understand. Out of the Past is interesting because we can’t penetrate ANY of the characters– they are hard to read, even those that seem to be the heroes. While it might make for an unsatisfying viewing experience, I do think a film like this tells us something about the very cynical climate it emerged from. Human nature is fickle and confusing.

    And yes, despite the cynicism, everyone looks completely glamorous in their nicotine haze!

  2. I felt the same way about this film. I have seen a couple of noir films now and honestly have not enjoyed any of them. In my opinion, the worst part about these films how seductive they seem to be at the beginning. Often times, they seem so interesting and the characters captivating, however as the plot develops you realize that they are hard to understand like the rest of the film.

    I am not sure how many people could truly enjoy this film and the reason I think its considered a classic is the unique style that it portrays. As Professor Herzog said, its hard to let yourself into a film when you cannot identify with any of the characters, in even the slightest way.

  3. I agree with your pereception. The movie is somewhat confusing. I got confused many times specially with dialogues. I found the dialogues are sarcarstic ! I didnt notice that most of the characters smoke in the movie, thanks for pointing that out. Probabibly they smke to show that the characters are complicated and have deceptive mind.

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