Writer: David Mamet (based on his play)
Director: Stuart Gordon
Budget: 10 million (estimated)
Domestic Gross: $131 617
i was wandering around my local video store the other day looking for a third film to rent. they have a special offer wherein you get 3 films for 4 days and i had already picked two movies, so i was trying to find a third in order to take advantage of the deal. i was randomly staring at dvd boxes when my eyes caught something that always interests me, david mamet. i was pretty sure i had seen almost all of his films and so i was surprised when this movie Edmond caught my eye and it was a mamet scripted film i hadn't seen.
Edmond is a film based on a play that mamet wrote back in 1982. the film stars william h. macy as a conservative, bored, white collar man who decides one evening that he is leaving his wife. he tells her that he is going out and that he isn't coming back - which is exactly what he does. a fortune teller tells him that "you are not where you belong" and in so doing sends him off. the movie is one scene after another as edmond descends into the darkness of the city and his own soul as he encounters and interacts with prostitutes, strippers, con men and pimps.
as the film progresses Edmond begins to learn about himself and believes that he is coming to some great conclusions about what it means to be a white male in america and what life truly is all about. Edmond is kind of like Falling Down meets Last Holiday (or any of the many other films in which someone decides that life is too short and it is time to live life to the fullest). in mamet's hands however, this simple, seen-it-many-times-before idea becomes something much more.
there are some disturbing racist, homophobic and misogynistic overtones in the film, which has been talked about by many as a dissection of america and the white mans fears - remember that the play came out following the 1970's, the iran hostage situation and right at the beginning of the 80's and the reagan era as the conservative face of the country was becoming a dominant force - which makes it actually pretty interesting that the movie version was made today - two decades later, with the tide of conservatism and fear once again washing high up on america's shores.
the film is well directed by stuart gordon but mamets script is the star of this show (along with macy who is in every single scene of the movie). there is some great "mamet-speak" here and at least two or three scenes that make the whole thing worth while. sure people don't really talk like how mamet writes, but that doesn't matter because i love listening to them.
Edmond it not on the level of Glengarry Glen Ross or Wag The Dog. however, it is an interesting film that starts on the road towards your stereotypical, seen-it-before film but takes a mamet turn and ends up giving us something a little different. based on the reviews i read this movie seems to split people right down the middle. if nothing else however, it will spawn some interesting reactions and conversations and is worth remembering.