First Hit: When all is said and done, there were a few outstanding moments of acting in a film that tried to make a statement.
The question is: What is the statement Director Ridley Scott wanted to make with this film? Was it about greed? Was it about accepting the consequences of the path chosen?
This film begins with a very luxurious soft, emotionally available scene where the Counselor (Michael Fassbender) and Laura (Penelope Cruz) are lying under the sheets in a beautiful modern bedroom. Their mutual attraction physically and emotionally drips off the celluloid.
Then we see that the Counselor must be doing well for himself as he’s driving a Bentley motor car and lives in a very nice home. He visits a client/friend Reiner (Javier Bardem), who we learn quickly is a major player in the drug trade. He enjoys his riches and the accouterments of his home, but he never looks or feels like it is his, it is more like he’s a guest in his home.
Bardem also seems this way in this character; he doesn’t look or feel like he is at home with this character and I never felt like I knew if this was on purpose or not. The best acting of the film came from Cameron Diaz as Malkina who, with her silver nail polish and cold look, defined an I don’t give a f&%# attitude.
Additionally, Brad Pitt as Westray a drug deal middle man carried the right amount of emotional detachment, sleaziness, and peacefulness at the path he’s chosen. The obvious point of the film's main character is: Was The Counselor prepared to pay the price for a big drug deal gone bad? The answer seemed to be not really.
There are major dialogue segments by Reiner, Malkina, Westray, and Jefe (Ruben Blades) that warn him about what the price is, but he still takes the chance. However, questions remain; why is he in this drug deal (excitement, money, greed)? What is the motivator?
Then again, maybe this film is just may be a Ridley Scott vehicle to give his advice on living life.
Fassbender was very good, however I didn’t care about him or his character. There was no background about why he would risk love for more money? Cruz was good as Fassbender’s love interest. Bardem, seemed lost in this role. I never got he was in the role but rather speaking the lines. Diaz was fabulous, showing the ability to be a strong dark presence and make each scene she was in interesting. Pitt was really good at having a laissez faire presence while carrying a clear message to the main character. Cormac McCarthy wrote the script but I don’t know if it was him or Scott that decided to glaze over providing enough information to care. Scott, created some amazingly beautiful scenes and shots but did he just want to tell us his version of the saying; you get what you pay for OR you have to be willing to pay the price?
Overall: This film was forgettable by the next day, although Diaz’s performance will land her more roles.