Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Just watched...

...“Fast Food Nation” directed by Richard Linklater (“A Scanner Darkly,” “Dazed and Confused”).

Loosely based on Eric Schlosser’s 2001 non-fiction book of the same name, “Fast Food Nation” (released in 2006) plays a little like the grueling “Requiem For A Dream.” Schlosser and Linklater wrote the screenplay dramatizing the issues covered in the book such as the destructive dangers of fast food, and the inhumane treatment not only of animals but of employees at meat-packing plants that provide beef for fast food chains--the film's tag line "Do you want lies with that?" says it all. These issues get woven into a narrative where we follow several characters through harrowing ordeals (immigrants smuggled across the border to be exploited at meat-packing plants, a marketing executive at a fast food chain faced with the truth of what he enables his company to perpetrate, etc.). It is true that the issues seem to get overshadowed by the unfolding drama and the characters (with performances and cameos by Bruce Willis, Kris Kristofferson, and Greg Kinnear), but it is still very effective. And not pretty. We ultimately leave the original issues to contemplate the dark side of human interactions.

Recommend? Yes, but be warned that is not a “feel-good” film… and not for the squeamish.

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