Prior to ‘Empire of Light’, Sam Mendes already had one of the most amazing things in Hollywood. The British director exploded in 1999 with the classic ‘American Beauty’, which earned him an Academy Award, but since then his career has been mixed like ‘Road to Perdition’ or ‘Revolutionary Road’, two blockbusters as his two James Bond films and another stint in awards season with the impeccable ‘1917’. Perhaps it is because of this mixture of melodramas and big budgets that he decided to go for a simpler film.
The film, which tells the story of film life in 80s Britain in the current state, has issues about filmmaking, racism, mental disorders and Margaret Thatcher. But Mendes shows the middle building as a necessary refuge from all the chaos that surrounds things. It’s a simple piece, a well-crafted drama with some jokes running through it and a cast that knows how to carry the story, far from being the filmmaker’s best work, but it’s not a spot on his catalog.
GOVERNMENT WITH GOOD
The main thing about the movie is that it was shot, a point in favor that Mendes films usually have. On the other hand, Olive Collman adds another character under her own dementia, although this time her problems appear as part of a complex story that is not fully revealed to us, Micheal Ward jumps to television and begins to build. An interesting example of a suitable actor.
The rest of the cast takes much smaller roles, although two are prominent. Colin Firth manages to cast his image as a straight man, one of the few characters in his extensive catalog who is downright abominable, and Toby Jones manages to deliver a performance that seems like it’s his job to lighten up the lives of the rest of us. the voice of ancient wisdom arises in the piece.
He was honestly cast in the center of the film. The tension arises from their relations, and the deep and melancholy expressions which the British inject into the work of writing, because they interpret them. Their interactions, frictions, discussions and moments of connection are inherent in the story, with the film serving more as a shared space where they share and work together.
‘EMPIRE OF LIGHT’: ANOTHER TRIBUTE TO CINEMA IN A YEAR FULL OF THEM.
If British cinema is to face the problem, there have been many very powerful works in cinema recently. That is, “Belfast” (2021) by Kenneth Branagh, “Fabelmans” (2022) by Steven Spielberg and the crazy “Babylon” (2022) by Damien Chazelle are more inspired works, although this is also because they are more ambitious.
In spite of everything, they do not seem to cease to be the device that Democritus himself must carry out. A personal reminder of what movies mean, not only to those who make them, but also, especially, to those who watch and exist around them. It is convenient for a film and a daring to do a small job at a time when the film is working too hard in search of a huge film with a big budget and little to say.
“The Empire of Light” is the antidote to this search for excess. For the director and the audience to recharge before returning to the big cinema, with chapter C, the film is also necessary within the recent scene. Not every movie is meant to change our lives, some just to take a couple of hours away from it.