Cassandra’s Dream
review by Neo

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Year: 2007

Box Office: Unknown (Let me know by email)

Director: Woody Allen

Producer: Letty Aronson

Starring: Hayley Atwell, Colin Farrell, Sally Hawkins, Ewan McGregor, Tom Wilkinson

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Tagline: An adequate suspense flick from Woody Allen…

Review by Neo: Dear Woody Allen,

Upon viewing the latest Woody Allen’s venture, Neo’s mind is filled with negative comments from all around the World Wide Web. The worst news is that Cassandra’s Dream somehow justified an article to be written in the Sydney Morning Herald about the demise of Woody Allen. Woody Allen has been out of the spotlight ever since his controversial marriage of his apparently step daughter. So to justify any media coverage or an article written about him is as farfetched as a dream. The real problem with Woody Allen of the 90s is that he is being criticized so much that his films are no longer making money, with the exception of Match Point. Neo isn’t a big fan of the director, but there is no doubt that his sympathies lie with little old Woody. His films might not be as great as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t any good. Many have taken cheap shot at the director and some even criticize the casting of Scarlett Johansson as his new muse as not a capable actress to handles his roles. Without being a total bias, Neo is fond of Scarlett, but there is no doubting her acting talents. One needs to look no further than Lost in Translation for any sort of critical answer.

Perhaps, what people aren’t getting is that the older Woody Allen no longer ventures into comedies, but rather serious offbeat thriller in Woody’s trademark style. In spite of this, Cassandra’s Dream is largely unbelievable and that’s not exactly a bad thing. It is largely unbelievable because it doesn’t usually happen in Hollywood, or perhaps the fact that Woody likes to play with the idea of fate. Why and what motivated the characters to do such an act is quite simple, small guns wanting to become big shots. However that goes back to the morality question that Woody is trying to post and what stops Cassandra from being essential great is Woody’s self importance as a director, rather than allow his actors to stamp their own footprints into the work. The result is a good and even adequate thriller that is predictable in a good way, but sometimes too much Woody Allen can be a bad thing.

Why the hell is Neo contradicting himself with juxtaposition statement calling a Woody Allen’s film with too much indulgence of the director? The answers lie in the fact that the actors and characters are impossible to relate to. With the star voltage power of Ewan McGregor and one of Neo’s favourite Hollywood actor (who resembles Tony Leung Chiu Wai )in shape of Collin Farrell, even the most frank studio would think that those two can at least justify a sound box office. The result was appalling and only blame will always be on the shoulders of Woody Allen. His statute in Hollywood has fallen and critics and everyone alike have told him to quit, but yet he still churn out at a rate of 1 movie a year. Blame the European for providing him with the money, but in al truthfulness, Woody might not be the Oscar winning lad that won honors 20 years ago, but he is still far from being a total spent force.

Do the means justify the ends or does fate/karma exists? These questions are answered in a simple yet dramatic fashion by Woody in Cassandra’s Dream. We all have a dream, but how much will you do to achieve that dream. The problem with life is that nothing goes as plan, but underlying all else and factors, we all have a choice. To some, as long as the means meeting the ends, it all seems right, even when their morals tell them a different story. Woody is an 80s director, one that prefers the camera to be focusing on the actors and perhaps the dialogue. His camera will always remain steady creating what you see is what you get feeling.

Admirers of Woody Allen will want the director to continue making movies and condemners will want him to retire, but what they all forgot is that the world have changed and so have the audience. Woody Allen will never be the director he was or perhaps, his skills have not distinguished from him. Rather, our audience no longer embraces him and the result is the reaction from Woody to change from comedy to serious fateful acts in Modern Greek tragedies. With his first attempt at this significant change, Woody though he smashed the right keyhole in Match Point and so he continued in Scoop and now Cassandra’s Dream. True, the latter two films made less money than a Van Damme’s direct to video flick, but the quality remains the same. Perhaps it is all marketing and packaging in the commercial world and like life, you cannot please everyone and if Hollywood wants Woody to retire, and European still loves you, then continue and make the films to please that part of the world…

From someone who secretly liked Cassandra’s Dream,

P.S: If you feel that Neo haven’t really mentioned about the acting of Ewan and Collin and others, it is because of the larger than life of Woody Allen. Hope that does explain it…Also, there is always a hot chick in Woody's flicks… (Neo 2008)

I rate it 6.5/10

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