Friday, February 13, 2009
Igby Goes Down
I may have to reconsider bumping this into my top ten after giving this another view tonight. The film is supposed to be very loosely based on Catcher in the rye and the similarities are there to be enjoyed. It has that adventurous nature about it. Igby is a rich kid kicked out of school, several schools in fact. His mother, a cold and rich woman played comically by Susan Sarandon, tries to straighten out Igby before finally sending him to spend some time with his rich Godfather. Igby, feeling that over analytical teenage confusion, tries to live the more care free life of the down and out but ends up mooching off of the social networks of which he has become surrounded by. It's like a social class safety net that keeps him from falling too deep into the streets. He stays with his rich Godfather, sleeps with his mistress, why not? Rich kids love the perks of room service without knowing any different. He shares some drugs and then some sex with the beautiful Claire Daines as she becomes too weak to resist his boyish ignorance and enthusiasm for confrontation/arrogance. Unfortunately for Igby his brother is slightly more her age. Ol' Holden Caulfield like to call his brother a prostitute and a sell out for whoring his work, Igby has similar thoughts for his brother's loyalty to his sleazy Godfather. His preppy image is enough to take Sukki away from Igby and spark the frustration that ignites his resentment for his more successful brother. In the same way we saw a visit to his teacher from Holden, we enjoy the rather humorous moment of Igby delivering drugs to his former teacher and her husband at their home. Even in this rather humbling moment he has to make up a hysterical tale of his brother becoming disfigured to deflect the annoyance of hearing complimentary enquiries about his brothers academic success.
Igby's father played by Bill Pullman, has left the family after suffering with mental illness. We see a series of flashbacks that show Igby's admiration as well as his fear of what his father has become. Between his father and his mother Igby has a well of dysfunctional behaviour to draw from. Even on her death bed, his mother jokes back and forth with Igby who gives as good as he gets in an exchange of very dark and dry wit. Keiran Culkin's acting is pretty fucking impressive to be honest as he does a fantastic job fluctuating from numb one minute to out-of-control-crazy the next.