★★ / ★★★★
I thought the best part of this critically acclaimed film was the way it set up the behind-the-cameras drama among Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch and Robert Duvall. I had major problems with this film’s pacing because once it passed the one-hour mark, each storyline began to slow the picture’s momentum. This could’ve easily been a ninety-minute feature and it would’ve been leaner and meaner. I understand that the story is supposed to be satirical. That’s why each of the main character is yelling pretty much all the time, trying to express his frustrations because his avarice is often at odds against another. But I found the scenes when particular characters would get angry to be extremely repetitive because the topic that they address are the same: the current times are bad and people must take an almost anarchist approach to solve their discontent. I think this would’ve been so much stronger if there was only one or two of those over-the-top scenes and the rest were subtle. In fact, to me, this film truly shined when a particular character would sit in a corner and think about what his or her next move should be in order to outsmart the others. Those moments are so small yet they managed to make me think more than the over-the-top scenes when a character would lecture another (and since this is a satire, those lectures are also directed toward the audiences). I get that this film was released back in 1976 and it predicted today’s trashy reality shows and “news” programs that claim to report the “facts.” But I can’t quite recommend this one because I lost my interest about half-way through. But the one to see here is Dunaway because she has the knack for being a complete monster who cannot get any lower from one minute and be almost human and relatable the next. I liked its ideas but the execution was too weak and all over the place for me.