Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson, 1970)

Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

A slice-of-life, on-the-road drama, Five Easy Pieces features Jack Nicholson as a protagonist masking his pain and shortcomings by attempting to appear confident and, in turn, coming across as loud and obnoxious. We spend half the film seeing that side of this man – stuck in a place he doesn’t like with a girl he doesn’t like – feeling mostly bottled up. It’s amazing how transparent he becomes when he finds himself spending time with a woman he respects and admires. The two sides of his facade are remarkably contrasted while still holding true to his normal personality traits (sexually driven, funny, short-tempered). These love interest relationships way outshine the ‘daddy issues’ psychoanalyzation attempt towards the end.

What really reeled me in, though, was the excellent cinematography. The sun and the land are photographed in a way I can only describe as Days of Heaven-esque. Laszlo Kovacs takes full advantage of the magic hour, giving us endless golden, sun-draped images and the dark blue tones of dusk. It’s a beautifully peaceful setting considering the tense happenings.  8.5/10

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