Film Review of The Dinner

Richard Gere is one of the most underrated actors, and I keep asking myself why. What is it with the Academy? What’s wrong with them? Until I realized he doesn’t belong there, never did, but somewhere else, beyond and above them.

This film has no happy ending. Instead, it’s ending is abrupt and gut-wrenching and tragedy lingers, as though the story hasn’t ended. Who knows? Maybe it has? Or, maybe it’s part of something larger? Maybe the Second part of the Trilogy is just around the corner?

This is best manifestation of someone who has a psychiatric diagnoses. Why? Because it doesn’t tell you. It shows you how deeply conflicted someone is when they know they have been compromised.

Their brains seldom refrain from producing a host of distortions, and though we know we’re still somewhere in there, the intellect and emotions have been sabotaged, and our defenses weakened.

We are powerless before such a formidable opponent who lives inside of us, and whose resources are vast and unparalleled. The odds aren’t looking good. And those persons know it.

But while this one character clearly cannot escape his demons, however brilliant he may be, the other characters are, as all humans, flawed and conflicted. And the moral compass keeps shifting.

Their motives are elusive and mysterious and cannot be easily determined. So the question you keep asking yourself while watching: What is going on? And the tension is almost unbearable.

It’s about a family. Brothers, wives, and children. Is he actually trying to hurt the brother? It’s possible. Besides, after all, he’s a powerful politician who has an unstable brother and the Governor’s race is tomorrow. Or is he trying to help and protect his brother? And what about the wives? Are they who they appear to be? If not, then who are they?

A crime has been committed by 2 boys. But are you sure it’s only 2 boys, or is there a 3rd boy, as well? The scene is replayed over and over, but the versions keep shifting. So which version is real?

And what have the parents done? Are their motives altruistic, sinister, or simply misunderstood? We can’t be sure because we are forced to consider the possibilities. And our instincts. It’s up to us to determine which context is real, and which one isn’t? And that’s what makes it so exciting.

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