Okay, here's why it gets a ten
First, what's wrong with it. Aside from Cohen's wonderful song, thesound and music were poor and didn't add anything. The cinematographywas not particularly inventive or inspiring.
But still a 10.
Okay you have to catch what this excellent writing is up to.
The twist at the end is pure and righteous symmetry.
It's about justice and revenge, an atypical and furious interpretationof right and wrong. It's got a piece of The Unforgiven about it.
It posits that some things just can't be fixed, and that the penaltydoes often indeed involve even more suffering of the innocent.
All the acting is excellent. The direction is excellent.
The writing is difficult, twisted, demanding, and wonderful, hard tograsp at first, hard to at first grasp, even at the end. But withinit's own pained logic of warfare, just.
The heroic transformation is really spectacularly fierce in that thedelivery of justice and punishment requires such a high price to bepaid by the destroyed innocent, and the hero, that it at first doesn'teven seem like justice.... but it sinks in, that it is.
Sure, it has deliberate echos of Deliverance, but it's actually muchmore sinister and indirectly more disturbing, not just to personalsafety, but to our perception of right and wrong, and justice,punishment, and revenge.
It reminds me in some ways of Death and the Maiden.
It could have almost been a stage piece.
If it wasn't low budget and foreign, with non-U.S.-well-known writingand directing, and with higher "production values", it would have madebig stink here.
Or maybe not. Us Americans are often so dull about clear winning andlosing, that they get lost in movies like this. Our loss.
Oh, and I want to thank Gary Oldman for taking a shot at this. Iwouldn't have known about it or seen it with him, and I thank him forroping me in!
God only knows what great stuff I miss from not having the time towatch everything! I wish I could clone myself and have them watch itso, I would have reviews I could trust! ;)