LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Simone
This is one of those films that holds up the mirror to Hollywood, the media, and ourselves, to demonstrate just how weird we can all be about celebrities.
Simone (short for Simulation One) is a computer program. The result of many years work of a programer who gives the system to Film Director Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino) just before dying. Simone can be changed at will. She always does what her director says. She's the perfect actress. She's so good that no one suspects the person on the big screen isn't real. Everyone wants to meet Simone.
The film dresses its major theme in a garment of comedy. Taransky must keep the illusion of Simone going while making sure no one discovers the truth. Soon, his creation becomes more important than himself.
This movie is riveting. It moves, it stays focused, it's very funny. It points out how celebrities are manufactured by the entertainment industry. In many ways we the collective audience are told who is a celebrity, and in accepting what we are told, we decide these people are important. But since we never meet these people in person, why couldn't they be computer programs?
Ultimately, Taransky comes to terms with Simone. Rather than try to destroy her, he embraces the computer construct and moves on. As if to say, "well this is how it is." And this is, indeed, the way the entertainment industry is. Those of us who are consumers of the product of that industry, are part of this simulated value. This is the message, and the value of Simone.
Simone is one of the few films I've seen this past year that actually says something. Most of the films of 2002 are just 90 to 120 minutes of, at most, shallow entertainment. Now I'm not saying shallow entertainment doesn't have its place. But when a film like Simone comes along, it is the difference between eating a hamburger and eating prime rib. Which would you rather have?
Directed by Andrew Niccol
Released in 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Reviewed by Mongo