Cassandra’s Dream (2007) is a London based film written and directed by Woody Allen now out on DVD. This crime drama stars Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell as two brothers in need of fast cash and who are willing to do anything to obtain it.
Ian (McGregor) and Terry (Farrell) are two middle-class English brothers chasing after their financial dreams. Ian, the more stable and prosperous of the two, is a capitalist who is working on a scam to buy hotels in California. Terry is a local mechanic struggling with drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions. The brothers pool their money together and buy a small sailboat which they name Cassandra’s Dream after one of Terry’s winning race dogs. Ian becomes infatuated with Angela, a local gold digger actress (Hayley Atwell). Ian tries to impress Angela by driving fancy cars (borrowed from Terry’s shop) and buying her expensive gifts with Terry’s gambling winnings. Quickly Terry’s winning streak comes to an end when he owes 90,000 pounds. The brothers go to their Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson), a rich plastic surgeon arriving back home from a business trip in Asia, asking for money. Uncle Howard agrees to help them with their money problems only if they agree to kill a business associate who is going to make Howard’s illegal activities public. The brothers are so desperate for money they agree to do their Uncle’s dirty work, but they are not prepared for the consequences of their actions.
I was fairly disappointed with Woody Allen’s effort with this movie. The film seemed to be a side project, which contained no meaning or importance to the director. A local High School theater company could of done better. The actors were left to stumble through their lines which was most apparent in the under the tree scene when Uncle Howard is asking the brothers to kill his business associate. Tom Wilkinson carried the scene with struggled improvisation.
From the very beginning the musical score (Philip Glass) was over the top. The music was on the verge of annoying and distracting. The score took away from my connection and empathy with the main characters. The musical score was more appropriate for a fight scene or a car chase not an emotional dark drama.
The film would of benefited from a role reversal between Farrell and McGregor. Farrell’s portrayal of a sensitive and damaged workingman is just not convincing. McGregor, notable the better actor of the two, would of made Terry believable and provoked sympathy from the viewers.
I was excited to watch a new offering from a great director/writer, which also contained one of my favorite actors, but I was disappointed. The film was sloppily put together from the writing, directing, and even the music. I wouldn’t call this film a nightmare, but it’s not a pleasant dream either.