Glengarry Glen Ross (Rated R, 100 minutes)
Another podcast bet lost and another film I am forced to watch; fortunately, it was not a surrealist film this time. Glengarry Glen Ross is the fantastic 1992 Drama, which was based on David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize winning play. Like most David Mamet plays or films, it survives off its wonderful and plentiful dialogue. Glengarry Glen Ross follows sale associates at a real estate office; over two days the audience sees these associates lie, swindle and claw their way to the top.
But what makes this film work is its ability to transcend time; it is just as relevant to a unemployed post graduate in the 21st century as it was to a 90s business associate. What I mean is that different generations could take this film and make it fit into their own generational problems. For instance, in order to get the better leads the sales associates need to make sales with the craps leads; but besides luck how are they supposed to make money off these terrible leads? People can interpret this how they want but to me it translates to the post-grad job experience of the 21st century; one can only get a job if they have experience, but how are they going to get experience without a job?
Again, being that this was originally a play, it is a very contained film; even the way the director shots the outdoor scenes feel claustrophobic and restricted. But this does not hinder the film, it just forces the audience to focus on the dialogue spewing characters. And what an amazing cast: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, and Alan Arkin all give terrific performances. I just love the way David Mamet makes them speak; each piece of dialogue has its purpose. It is as if the whole script is one gigantic poem and each line of dialogue is its own stanza; and the actors perfectly hit each one of their rhythmic beats. This makes up for the lack of scale and flawed directing; the lines are frantic and constant, but even in the few quiet seconds, the audience wants more.