This is a straight entry to the dream factory of Hollywood. It is a movie for those who have spend large parts of their lives in vivid celluloid narratives. For those who are deliberately following a liar who tells doubtful accounts from a fictitious world somewhere, of a scale bigger than life. Definitely for me.
I delved into the story of Eddie Mannix and became part of his life as a kind of circus director, whose duty is to manage various show acts, preventing the happening of evil and to solve problems where incidents already occurred. A problem solver, a type of character cinema is full of. But Eddie’s tasks are at an extra layer, because he acts at the root of all main stream movies: he keeps a film studio running. Capitol Pictures is a fake invention of the Coen brothers, as well as all acting actors. “Hail, Caesar” is a mother of all film-in-film movies.
This movie feels so fifties, it looks so perfect in it’s various versions of style – from a musical to a water ballet, a sandal movie as well as a drama (greatly exaggerated by it’s director, played by Ralph Fiennes). Not to mention the B–movieish western.
I felt the tension while I was accompanying Eddie Mannix on his way through the everyday hassle. Tilda Swinton caused hilarious trouble, playing identical twins whose reputation as columnists are questionable and which are at odds with each other. And this is just one subplot – besides the major issue of hostage-taking Georg Clooney.
I’ve read that this movie is tame, because nothing is at stake. But analyzing my heart rate offers the great participation I had. Look at the second half with it’s large red areas and watch out for the wavy trendline. Unfortunately I can’t tell what caused the green gap after 47 minutes. Again, this is still the weakness: not having the movie at hand to look for the scene which caused it.
I was surprised seeing the end titles – this is it? Wait, Eddy, you still need to solve… no you don’t. With great simplicity and almost unnoticeable the Coen brothers have all loose ends be spun together. Although I would have loved to stay with Josh Brolin and all the others for a while.
Yes, the movie is very artificial. The Coen brothers are at no point trying to blur the boundaries between the fictional story and my life. It is on screen and it stays there. But I was deliberately be part of it. According to the résumé of my seat neighbors – they where not. What did they say? Special humor? I beg your pardon, it’s the Coen brothers.