Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"THE WEATHER MAN"

Nicholas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Nicholas Hoult, Gemmenne de la Pena, Gil Bellows

"In life, accuracy counts."

Dave Spritz



David Spritz is the weather guy in a small local TV station in Chicago. He is separated from his wife and they have two kids. He is also the devoted son of a Pulitzer Prize novelist who is dealing with a medical condition. He earns a fairly decent salary for his routine job. Its main pitfall being he has to occasionally deal with stupid people throwing food at him. In short, he could be any ordinary peron living the American dream.

Yet he is always craving for something. Attention from his wife who has moved on. A certain form of respect from the public who see him as nothing but a lousy weather man who forecasts something totally unpredictable. He also yearns for the constant approval of his more accomplished father. His kids connect with him albeit in a distant way. He does his best to provide for them even enrolling his daughter in archery lessons and paying for the rehab of his son. Deep inside, he also has this insecurity complex. He doesn't even have a degree in meteorology. He feels he isn't living up to what he expected himself to be. Case in point, he changed his name from David Spritzel to simply Dave Spritz to make him sound more 'showbizy'. Yet, he persists in pursuing a lifelong dream. His goal is to be the weather man in the national morning TV show "Hello America" hosted by Bryant Gumbel. So you see he is not entirely hopeless. He has this desire to branch out and be a somebody.


The entire film has a dark theme/tone to it. Shots of a frozen lake, a tree lined park where he practices his archery skills, the bone chilling cold weather of Chicago and New York - all images that convey bleak moments. Nicholas Cage also peppers the film with some narration every now and then. It's like he is talking to himself out loud. I like movies with narration. It is an engaging concept. It feels like the character wants to interact with us directly. As if we are in cahoots with them or we are on to something. The plot in this film is well connected and seemingly tight in nature. In the acting department, Michael Caine and Nicholas Cage take center stage. Their scenes together as father and son are well versed in a subdued manner and they have a good repartee. I did recognize the actor who portrays his David's son, Mike as the young kid who starred in "About a Boy" with Hugh Grant. He still has that empty forlorn look in his eyes and it contributed well to his role here.


I've always been a Nic Cage fan. I basically like the idea that he portrays guys who are a bit flawed but only up to a certain extent. They are not downtrodden losers, per se. That somehow, somewhere along the film, the guys he portrays do redeem themselves out of the holes they themselves dug. Then, they go out with a bang (in short, they get killed). Or sometimes they just end up with a wide grin pasted on their face with a faint hope in their heart to move on and live life in yet another day in filmdom history. In "The Weather Man" Nicholas Cage salvaged himself, just fine. Thank you.

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