The Company You Keep, a film by Robert Redford

Posted by: Bill Pearlman
Published on May 5th, 2013 @ 11:30:00 am , using 309 words
Category: Commentary, Reviews


Saw new Redford film The Company You Keep and thought it oddly not all there. It seemed like an attempt to bring the radical elements of the Weather Underground, a violent player in the anti-Vietnam movement, into some kind of narrative focus. But it comes across somehow as a vehicle for aged stars like Sarandon, Julie Christie, and Redford to have a kind of showcase for their political heritage. There is an affecting scene with Sarandon, who has given herself up to law enforcement, saying how important it was to fight against an illegal and devastating war in Vietnam with everything her group could muster. Asked if she would do it again, she said yes. Redford's man on the run character seems barely cohesive, though his exchange with some of his bretheren in the old movement fill in what is otherwise a kind of insinuated manhunt for a suspected terrorist. The Julie Christie character's reversal of direction as she gives herself up for the killing of a security guard at a Michigan bank way back when is the closing element, and then we see Redford walking away from custody with his daughter, speaking silently. I hope if Redford directs again, he casts the piece with actors other than pals who have seen better screen days. There is a documentary on the Weather Underground people that is much more interesting than this. The anti-war movement was a big part of many of our lives and many of us paid a high price in private lives and work lives which suffered because we were so utterly opposed to what looked to many of us like a devastating an unnecessary war that left so many Vietnamese and Americans killed for reasons of arrogance and stupidity. As McNamara finally admitted years after the fact: 'We were wrong, we were terribly wrong.' Indeed. 




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