Projections - Movie Reviews

Bobby Deerfield

Bobby Deerfield is a slow moving love story involving a wealthy Italian girl and an American race driver.  It is just OK.

Bobby, Al Pacino, races for a living.  He is precise and mechanical about life and his racing.  Nothing is allowed to remain for chance; very little emotion flows through him.  Even his affair with a French girl, Lydia, lacks passion and excitement.  He is not a very interesting character, and the dullness of the character hurts the film.

During a race another driver from Bobby's crew is killed, and Bobby, knowing the other driver was capable and skilled, blames mechanical failure for the accident.

To prove his theory, Bobby visits a hospitalized second driver involved in the crash.  At the hospital Bobby meets Lillian, Marthe Keller, a terminal patient.  Their relationship grows through the next few months and becomes love before she dies at the film's end.

Lillian, knowing of her closeness to death, is carefree and without responsibility.  Bobby, in contrast, is serious and inflexible and has difficulty understanding her actions.  Bobby doesn't know for quite some time that Lillian is dying.  After a night together, Lillian leaves her apartment and sets out on a hot air balloon race without informing Bobby where she is going.  All of her unsettling actions draw out Bobby's humanity after three quarters of the film has gone by.

To show the change he does an imitation of Mae West which must be a symbol of his vulnerability because he refused to admit doing that imitation as a child when his brother speaks of it earlier in the film.  That's about as heavy as the film gets; not much material and not much in the acting department either.

Perhaps the most enjoyable parts of the movie are the scenic views of the Swiss Alps, Bellagio, Florence and Paris.  The balloon race take-off is also very colorful.

Bobby Deerfield is a non-offensive film with some good photography of the European countryside, but it won't be a memorable film in any category.

Bobby Deerfield

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