Volume 76, Number 37 | February 7 -13, 2007

Koch on film

By Ed Koch

“Seraphim Falls” (-)

This pretentious western film set in 1868 seeks to convey some highbrow message.  I was put off by the movie, and the message escaped me.

A five-man posse led by Col. Morsman Carver (Liam Neeson) is tracking a man we later learn is Gideon (Pierce Brosnan).  The question is who is the bad guy.  Is it Col. Carver who makes derisive comments to his posse, or is it Gideon who kills some of his pursuers in ingenious ways?  The two men fought on opposite sides during the Civil War — Gideon for the North and Carver for the South.  A flashback to 1865 involving both men explains the intensity of their personal struggle.  

The scenes of the untamed areas are beautiful and Gideon’s physical exploits are fascinating.  Nevertheless, “Seraphim Falls” in no way matches the greatness of the old westerns and, at least for me, is a failure.

HS said: “The movie reminded me of ‘Zabriskie Point’ with an overlay of “And Then There Were None.” The plot is confusing but the mountains, waterfalls and desert of what appear to be Nevada or California are magnificent. Although the film is wildly implausible descending into illusions, it has its points particularly if you go for male bonding.” 

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