Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

Today's film is Five Easy Pieces.  Jack Nicholson does a great job in this film.  He plays Bobby, who grew up in high society and was groomed to be a concert pianist, but abandoned it all to live a simple life working on the oil fields.

Bobby is dating Rayette, a not too bright waitress.  His friend, Elton, has a toddler and tries to convince Bobby that babies are great.  He tells him that Rayette is pregnant.  Bobby never asks her about it, nor does she ever tell him herself, so the fact of whether or not she really is pregnant is unknown or just plain ignored.

Bobby makes an impromptu stop at his sister's studio where she is recording piano music.  His sister tells him that their father has suffered from a series of strokes and may not recover.  Even though he doesn't want to, he decides to visit him for the last time.

He takes Rayette with him, but dumps her off at a motel before he reaches his parent's island.\ But, after a while, she runs out of money and goes to the island to meet him and his family, something he is quite upset with.  To him, she's simple and irritating (which is highlighted by the constant whiny female country music), and above all, asks for ketchup for a nice meal. Disgusting, I'd want to smack her too.  Later, there's a gathering of semi-intellectuals droning on and on, while Rayette demands to watch TV instead.  Equally uncomfortable by both his family and her, he just wants to leave.

Bobby tries to speak with his father, but it's too difficult as he is unresponsive.  He falls in love with Catherine, a woman practicing music at his house, but that's only because she's the opposite of him and opposites attract.  She has life goals and works hard to achieve them while he just drifts along.  She asks him to play the piano and he chooses to play the simplest song he knows.  He could be something but chooses not to.  Getting nowhere with her and not being able to talk to his dad, he leaves.

While leaving, Bobby and Rayette stop at a gas station.  He hands her his wallet while she goes inside.  He hops into a logging truck and tells the driver he lost everything in a fire.  The driver offers him and jacket and tells him it will be very cold where they're going.  I think they might be going to Alaska because we heard the hitchhikers earlier talking about how clean it is.  Bobby always takes the easy way out and always runs from his problems.  I liked this movie because it highlights and discusses a lot of problems society has, but the characters feel helpless to solve anything.  Bobby couldn't even get his toast per restaurant policy. I feel bad for him.  I will give this film a 6/10.

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