Movie: unique view of world

By Corina Curry and Sean Leary

Corina: Our pick for home rental this week was “Bright Lights, Big City,” a 1988 movie release about life in New York City’s fast lane of nightclubs and cocaine addiction.

Sean: “Bright Lights, Big City” was an interesting, entertaining movie. It was well-written, well-cast and for the most part well-acted. Keifer Sugherland was especially impressive (as usual) in the role of the manipulative character, Tad Allagash. And Michael J. Fox gave a pretty convincing performance as Jamie Conway, the movie’s main character. Having read and enjoyed the book, it was nice to see that the movie was equally impressive.

Corina: Unlike his other performances in films such as “The Light of Day” and “Teen Wolf,” Michael J. Fox gives an excellent strong, believable performance as the struggling young writer/cocaine addict trying to cope with his mother’s death, as wel as the recent departure of his wife Amanda. But as far as film adaptations go, it’s one of the better ones I’ve seen, but it’s not quite impressive as the book.

Sean: I agree with you on that, although I generally think a movie could never be as good as the book it was adapted from. The movie does have one thing especially in common with the book which is that both are very engrossing. Conway, the protagonist, is easy to sympathize with, and the situations that he gets into are entertaining. Through the narrative we get to see a truly unique vision of the world, and that is the primary allure of the story.

Corina: In some movies character narration is stuck in haphazardly to explain things that the movie can’t explain for itself. I like yhe fact that this mvie wasn’t as over-narrated s it could have been. What I found most intriguing and powerful about this movie was how it realistically presented both the drug-infested nightlife that Jamie and Tad lived in and the- ultra-serious daylife in which Jamie was forced to live. And another thing, the movie is very well-directed in its use of dream sequences and flashbacks. The film flows well from scene to scene, going from the upbeat danceclubs to the dreary facts department of Gotham magazine.

Sean: The movie makes sme powerful statements on the “scene” that the character inhabits, and also on the values of the people he associates with. The entire “scene” he inhabits is based on such hollow, materialistic and physical values. Unfortunately though, this is a realistic portrayal, and a “scene” does exist which parallels the one shown in the movie. The movie isn’t too heavy-handed in its condemnation of this lifestyle, instead it lets the viewer make the moral judgements based on the facts they are given.

Corina: I believe the movie uses that world merely as a backdrop to the story. People who view this movie and think that it’s all about drugs aren’t looking past the surface. This movie is more about coping with loss than the glorification of drug use.

Sean: Right, I agree. I really enjoyed this movie, it was thought provoking, but also entertaining.

Corina: To sum it up, if you haven’t already seen “Bright lights, Big City” it’s definitely worth the couple bucks to rent on video cassette. I think mst people will be surprised by Michael J. Fox’s performance.