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Klute back to product details

"I'm sure you'll find this amusing, but I'm afraid of the dark."
written by Lastcrackerjack April 8, 2006 - 10:42 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Directed by Alan J. Pakula from an original screenplay by Andy & Dave Lewis, "Klute" touched off an era of paranoid conspiracy films, followed by Pakula's "The Parallax View" and "All The President's Men", Francis Coppola's "The Conversation" and Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor".

Though "Klute" contains no political material, it is a masterpiece in suspense. Michael Small's spine tingling piano score creeps under the skin from the opening credits. The lighting is by master cinematographer Gordon Willis. Known as "the Prince of Darkness" for immersing actors in shadow (recall "The Godfather" trilogy), Willis pulls us into dark corners while persons unknown lurk at the door. The filmmakers set a mood of sinister dread that is unmatched by most horror movies. The effect is one that makes you want to get up and flip on a light switch.

The mystery and the mechanics of the plot are actually the least interesting business in the film. Pakula is far more interested in creating mood and exploring the relationship between his leads. A sequence where Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland stroll through a farmer's market, making love with quick glances and grins, has the effect of a sex scene where two lovers keep their clothes on.

Jane Fonda's performance should be mandatory study for aspiring actresses. Bree is an aspiring actress and in some of the film's best moments, extols the virtues of role playing to her therapist. As a prostitute, Bree can be the best actress in the world for an hour and retain some control over her life. Klute accepts her for who she is without the acting games and her first impulse is to push him away, so she can go back to being numb again.

Near the end of the film, the camera rests on Fonda for what seems like an eternity as she listens to an audio tape and slowly realizes that she may never get out of the room alive. The Academy routinely hands out Oscars for careers or for previous oversights, but Fonda's Academy Award winning performance is beyond peer here.


(Average 7.19)
112 Votes
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