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* Contains spoilers *
I have been encouraged, by a Twitter-chat with @dannytheleigh, to think again of Shadow Dancer (2012), and what I thought and wrote about it a while back (Who's dancing with whom ?) : I had happened, probably because someone had Retweeted it, to see him saying
Only just caught up with Shadow Dancer - can't think of many more underrated films this year. Subtle & woozy but still thriller-gripping.
— Danny Leigh (@dannytheleigh) December 2, 2012
That hadn’t been my impression, so I Tweeted Danny Leigh, commenting that My impression is that it received more praise than justified by how it didn't really hold together...
From our dialogue, I can distil these further thoughts :
1. Maybe Collette is a deliberately poor choice of informant – if so, it’s just convenient that she exists as a means of making a sacrifice, by being implicated, to protect Shadow Dancer as an asset
2. That knowledge about the poor choice could not have been shared with Mac, the agent tasked with recruiting her, because he is clearly the sort of person who would have baulked at the task, and we have to imagine that he cannot see for himself why she won’t be convincing
3. Some nascent romantic angle might just about gloss over why he is blind to her deficiencies (though he must have adored her from afar), but what if he had not been blind (as later he is not) and had rumbled the true motivation for engaging Collette ? What, then, for the plan ?
4. Yet all of this begs the question why, in the first place, Mac is on the outside of all this intended machinery, because having it so seems to serve no purpose other than the plot, not of his fellow agents, but of the film: no secret arrangement, nothing to discover, no development, no dénouement
5. There could have been such a motivation in the original book, but, if so, here – to my mind – it is so far submerged that it just gives the appearance of leaving Mac out in the cold for the sheer hell of it, and, oh damn, he’s found us out, and the wrong person’s dead
But I live in hope that I may be mistaken, so, if I am, Tweet me !
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