The Outsider of Martin Zandvliet | Review


Published on Mar 12, 2018


The production tried, to The Outsider, a new film distributed (but not produced) by the giant of streaming, Netflix, in the last two years has seen people come and go. You started with the Daniel Espinosa Easy Money, Safe House and Life in the cabin of directing and Michael Fassbender as the protagonist, who, however, left the main role to Tom Hardy for what would have become a movie the yakuza directed by the legendary Takashi Miike (The Immortal, his new film presented at Cannes 2017, is available on Netflix).

It would have been the dream for film lovers of all, but nothing to do: the movie, turns you around, has been entrusted to Martin Zandvliet, the Danish director who last year was even a candidate for the academy award for best foreign language film with the beautiful Land of Mine.

Zandvliet initially had contacted Jeremy Renner, who, however, preferred the Wind River Taylor Sheridan, and in the end the role of Nick Lowell was entrusted definitively to Jared Leto. The Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club at the beginning of The Outsider seems to just come from the set of Blade Runner 2049 (the beard and hair are identical, lacking only the contact lenses used to impersonate the blind and sinister Niander Wallace), but if in the film by Denis Villeneuve, it was somewhat petulant, here it happens exactly the opposite, but if you want to trace the interpretation of the sealed Ryan Gosling in his masterpiece oedipus Only God Forgives (The Outsider takes a lot of inspiration from Refn, especially the use of violence as a vehicle for understanding the characters that populate the plot, the actor/singer ends up with either almost always inexpressive and monotonous. Not his fault, however, there is to say.

The worst flaw of the film Zandvliet, in fact, is found in the script of Andrew Boldin, and from the point of view of the narration exudes banality from every page and contaminates with its flatness, all the other elements of the work, from the setup of the scene – which, though all in all good, not seeping, however, for elegance or particular insights into the visual – to the work of the actors, called to give body and soul to characters that we might euphemistically define sketches and at the centre of a plot really uninspiring.

Nick Lowell (Leto) is an american soldier who joins the yakuza, thanks to his bond with my husband (Tadanobu Asano), which will save the life in prison: stranger in a foreign land, our gaijin will discover the japanese culture filtered through the dark criminal underworld of Osaka, and in the midst of a terrible war between the heads of the families of the japanese mafia, fall in love with the beautiful sister of Kiyoshi, Miyu (Shiori Kutsuna).

Interesting there is that Boldin has written this film, leaving aside one of the main things of the cinematographic narration, or the background of the characters: the choice is courageous and admirable, because it is much more difficult to push the audience to become attached to the protagonists, of which you know nothing – or almost nothing – and unfortunately the movie is where it fails, i.e. when trying to establish a point of contact between the spectator and the characters, who seem cliché of meat rather than people who interact among them.

The reconstruction of the approximate of this gauzy Japan of the late ’50 closes the speech on a work of mediocre, that has very little to say, and what little he says in a hasty fashion, and sketched.

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