Sunday, December 23, 2012


I was so desperate to watch the film after finishing Truman Capote’s brilliant crime novel based on real and controversial Clutter family murder case of Kansas. Capote’s detailed reconstruction of the horrible motiveless homicide crime by two young men and its aftermath is a chilling and gripping account touching multiple themes of crimes, psychology and punishment unraveling relevant American nightmare that keeps shocking reality in one or another form time to time. The book is indeed a topnotch work mixing Capote’s journalistic skill and imaginative power. The film adaptation made by Richard Brook came just two years after its publication and it maintains faithfulness to the original without missing any underlying gaps in significant incident or narration until two full hours and then they compressed the novel’s other half short within fifteen minutes. Though the film used documentary like narration to give it required justice in the later half. There maybe reasons for this and most easy to guess is to maintain the cinematic pace and attention of the common audience. The film also rid away with convicts past and family life except moments of a few memory scenes of Perry. The original novel gave it the whole new dimension which the film misses terribly. But then I won’t say its injustice to the original as cinematic medium has its own exploiting limitations and power.

The film has perfectly etched out characters especially the two guys who played Perry and Dick; Robert Blake and Scott Wilson. Brooks shot the film at all original locations to give it authentic feel including the Clutter house and even actual court room and gallows. Conrad Hall’s stunning B&W camera reminds me Hollywood’s classic B&W noirs and there are number of scenes which leave the impact of man’s experimental talents of visual legacy. The last scene where prior to moving to gallows Perry summing up his life, the rain drops on window reflected on his face like tears gave it altogether poetic feel. Quincy Jones background score is an added attraction.

This is the real chapter of American nightmare and indeed a mandatory watch for all crime film fans.

Ratings- 8/10 

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