The Counselor

thecounselor1I don’t intend to take this up as a trade, says the Counselor, whom we know in the film simply as the Counselor. The central character of Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Prometheus, and Alien) directed film from the screenplay of one of the best novelists in America and perhaps one of the best and well-known authors in the world Carmac McCarthy, whose resume includes books such as The Road; No Country For Old Men; Suttree, Child of God. – Three of the titles I mentioned might ring a bell, for McCarthy’s novels, we have seen on the screen before adapted by directors like Coen Brothers, John Hillcoat and James Franco, whom is behind the direction of McCarthy’s Child of God, which is currently circling the film festivals around the world. – The Counselor marks McCarthy’s first screenplay, which tells the story of a lawyer limned by Michael Fassbender, who finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.

The film is impeccably shot and captured by the director of photography Dariuz Wolski, whose camera is looking over the world of the central character and the people he interacts with, and the places he travels to. We have plenty of time to feast our eyes on the designer suits, expensive colorful drinks, beautiful women, stylish cars, guns, drug trade, and two gorgeous cheetahs. – Scott’s actors/characters (Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Barden, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Rosie Perez, Natalie Dormer) have enough room to breathe and to understand their respective roles. None has time to over react. Job must be simply, of course, professionally done. While everyone performs their roles in simple manners and never steps over the line, it is Cameron Diaz and Michael Fassbender that pushes the film forward. – The Counselor’s problem is that he thinks he knows so much about the field that he is trying to step on. As he begins to set the deal, he gets plenty of advices from the wise man of the dark profession. It is greed, after all. Something that one must be careful to deal with as greed makes man’s heart go black as much as it makes the eye blind. And when the deal goes wrong, our character poetically falls in a trap, who realizes, all of a sudden, that in this profession you do not have any friends.

Scott’s film comes with no special effects, the tone of it, as moves scene to scene, in a neo-noir style remains in its impressive mode and to make it palatable we have McCarthy’s dialogues, that comes to you unexpectedly as poetry; one must listen to the characters at times very carefully in order to grasp the meaning of the terms, before the characters cease speaking. – Music by Daniel Pamberton is the backbone of the film’s structure, as Daniel drops, feeling natural, his stylish, western-feeling dark score, entering into the shades, lights and shadows of the scenes, in which often we notice our characters in silhouettes. – Scott is a master and you have to give him extra credit for still being honest as a master film-maker; during the production in August of 2012, the director had to take break from filming due to the sudden suicide of his brother Tony Scott. As a director, he has the emotional tone of the film in a steady pace, as he makes the emotions to be felt naturally and never to be forced down to one’s throat. Perhaps, much like pouring the glass to the fullest, all the way to its round edge and let the emotions pour. Fassbender delivers his performance impeccably. – This stylish dark neo-noir is not really for anyone as any work of McCarthy demands its own admirers. At least, the author stays audacious with the true nature of the world as his novels. The Counselor is a no nonsense thriller that keeps the pace of the world on the screen quite honestly.