Projections - Movie Reviews

Deconstructing Harry

Woody Allen's latest film is clever, bright, satirical and interesting but it is not as enjoyable as the last one, Everyone Says I Love You.

Harry Block is either very honest or perverse when it comes to his sex life.  He is old enough to look back on failed marriages with a questioning eye.  Block has produced a number of fictional novels that, in reality, reflect himself and the many relationships he has entered into.  It is even less reverent than his past work and it contains more four letter words than Boys In The Hood.  I guess they are more acceptable when they come from sophisticated, educated New Yorkers.

The clever approach of moving in and out of reality and into the pages of Harry's books using different actors to plan the same characters at different times in Harry's life is most effective.  The most innovative tool Allen uses is to place Mel (Robin Williams) literally out of focus as a symbol of Harry's inability to function in life.

There is so much fed out by the large, very talented case that a second and third viewing of the film may be necessary to catch, never mind remember, all the clever situations and lines delivered.  I did catch the one that Hell has Level Five reserved for film critics, and news anchors are just a little lower.  kidnappers are on the bottom and Harry is forced to the bottom of Hell because he kidnapped his own son in order to get the kid to an awards ceremony where Harry was to be honored.  While there he meets the devil (Billy Crystal) who also plays Larry, Harry's best friend who captures the heart of Fay (Elizabeth Shue).

Deconstructing Harry is filled with delightful, vivid and unconventional metaphors.  The meaning of Harry's deconstruction is logical but it only comes to the surface in the end.

This is classic Woody Allen but even with its great wit, it lacks the joy that some of his other works offer.

It is rated R for nudity and adult language.

Deconstructing Harry


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