by Natasha Theobald
If this film is a book, Fabio is on the cover.Tim Roth is the only reason to see this movie. He is deliciously malicious as a bad guy you love to loathe. In fact, he brings so much energy to the procedings, you start to wish bad things upon perfectly wonderful, if not a little boring, people just so he'll show up.
"Sudsy enough for Lifetime: Television for Women"
The story centers upon honorable man, Rob Roy Macgregor. It is to him that people look for protection and guidance, succor and sustenance. In fact, he feels so responsible for the welfare of others, he puts his land against a note from a nobleman in an effort to start his own business, as it were, buying and selling livestock of some sort. But, the nobleman's money man plots to steal said amount with Tim Roth's wealthy-seeming yet woefully penniless rogue. The nobleman is willing to forgive the debt if Rob will help him to sully the name of another nobleman, but Rob will not oblige. Can a man remain moral in an immoral world? This movie is not to be bothered with such questions.
Because of his choice to stand his ground, Rob and those closest to him suffer great losses, particularly his wife. She, strong and long-suffering, has tried to get him to see the gray of things, but he will not be moved. And, even with all that happens to her, she repeats to him the same words of wisdom he, just by chance, sought to share with his sons before all of this happened, that honor is a gift a man gives himself. As you may suspect, revenge also is something Rob would like to see wrapped with a bow. Murder, I guess, is honorable in his world if it can be justified.
The ins and outs are pretty much as you might expect. There are few surprises, save the aforementioned performance of Tim Roth. He doesn't have an imperfect moment in the whole affair, and I'm glad to have seen him glory in it.So, this is for Tim Roth fans or those looking for a bodice-ripping, revenge fantasy. The eye-rolling implausibility starts about halfway through the film, but, if you stick with it, you'll get to see Rob gut an animal so that he can hide in the carcass. Good stuff.
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originally posted: 07/11/02 16:15:00