Sample film review


Sample film review

Title: “Smooth Talk” directed by Joyce Chopra

A well-known filmmaker Joyce Chopra got a reputation as a feminist filmmaker in 1972 when she directed and starred in the documentary Joyce at 34. She went on making documentaries until 1986 when her first fictional feature-film “Smooth Talk” appeared. Based upon a short story by Joyce Carol Oates “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”, “Smooth Talk” stars a lovely Laura Dern in her first important role. Dern plays a young woman, Connie, who is at the difficult time in her life when the transition between girl and woman takes place in her life. She meets an attractive older man played by Treat Williams.
In the “Smooth Talk” the major character Laura Dern presents a good portrait of innocence curiosity cast into a dangerous world. She plays a teenager anxious to experience the pleasures of adult life. Laura decides to walk in the town for man’s companionship when her family went shopping. There Laura meets Treat Williams, a handsome older man, who calls himself "Friend". In fact, Laura Dern is staying somewhere between her childhood home and a dangerous and unknown future with a stranger. Finally, she makes the choice to go with an adult stranger - Treat Williams, called a Friend in the book. Here we see a symbol when she leaves the house and that innocent piece of herself behind - her fantasies and illusions.
Her agreement to go with Treat Williams is symbolic as well. He crashes all her fantasies of a young love. His face is deliberately mentioned several times in the story as "a round grinning face" (Oates 706). This is presented in a contrast to the faceless boys of Laura Dern's dreams, and it becomes obvious that dream and reality are melding together for Laura. He is far from being a typical romantic hero, both physically and mentally.
The major character is used to show the dreams and fantasies of youth and how they vanish so quickly. Using a true case of violent crime, Joyce Chopra displays how youthful naïveté and fantasy vanish in a moment just before the uncertain future starts. For Laura, that moment came the day Treat Williams violated her world.
The paper briefly analyses the film “Smooth Talk” directed by Joyce Chopra based on the book "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" written by Joyce Carol Oates. In this story the author uses an allegorical figure of evil to display the theme of temptation that is displayed in the film. This film is excellent from the beginning to the very end chiefly due to the great performances from the cast. Laura Dern shines in this great film. Treat Williams is marvellous as the mysterious older man who tempts Laura. The film is the study of life, of the important moments people face being at the crossroads between the illusions of youth and the uncertainty of the future.

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