2 November 2015

My Own Private Idaho

My Own Private Idaho 1991
  • Director: Gus Van Sant
  • Based loosely on Henry IV Parts One and Two by William Shakespeare
  • Cast: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, Udo Kier
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in
    • River Phoenix – The Mosquito Coast
    • Keanu Reeves – The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Lake House, A Scanner Darkly, The Matrix 1-3, Sweet November, The Gift, The Devil’s Advocate, Feeling Minnesota, A Walk in the Clouds, Johnny Mnemonic, Much Ado About Nothing, Dracula, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Dangerous Liaisons,
    • Udo Kier – Iron Sky, Melancholia, Manderlay, Modigliani, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark, Breaking the Waves, Johnny Mnenomic
  • Why? Shakespeare spin-off
  • Seen: 2 or 3 times previously. Now: 25 October 2015 

We’ve just finished reading Shakespeare’s Henry IV Parts One and Two and are now watching the films. Why Van Sant chose to weave Prince Hal and Falstaff into this story I’ve never understood but it is without question an unusual movie.
River Phoenix is a white trash screwed up narcoleptic street hustler. Keanu Reeves is the heir to a fortune, the son of the mayor and slumming it with the dregs until he comes of age, like Prince Hal.
There’s a hallucinatory feel to the film and if you don’t know your Shakespeare you wouldn’t even notice, you’d just think they talk funny at times. But knowing my Shakespeare it seems to me even more hallucinatory.
For whatever reason, I like the film.

3 * of 5 

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