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The City of Your Final Destination - DVD Review

The City of Your Final Destination - DVD Review


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Ishmael Merchant might have passed away in 2005, but that doesn’t mean that director James Ivory can’t continue without his business partner.  Right?  Wrong.  He does and, if this movie is a result of that continuation, then we know who made the partnership a success.  Unfortunately, The City of Your Final Destination isn’t on par with the same literary scale of what went before.  Ivory might have a talented cast to work with, but the film falters severely with huge character gaps and a modern-day setting that just seems too blasé for its slow-moving pace and verbose dialogue.

The City of Your Final Destination is the slow-moving narrative about grad student Omar Razaghi (Omar Metwally), who has received a promising grant to write the biography of a reclusive author who committed suicide at his remote South American home.  Problem is, he can’t get the family members to give him permission.  Encouraged by his uptight girlfriend (Alexandra Maria Lara), Razaghi heads off to the South American retreat to change their minds and get permission to write an "authorized" biography about the author from the author's widow (Laura Linney), his mistress (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and his gay older brother (Anthony Hopkins) all residing on the author’s estate, apparently unable to move forward with their own lives…

Are you asleep yet?  Seriously, are you?  Because I don’t blame you.  At all.

Oh, man.  Is this movie ever a total downtrodden and damnable bore.  Like the sport of fishing, I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it.  Linney and Hopkins are brilliant actors, but there’s a limit to the amount of shots that I can take of them drinking tea or sipping cocktails.  They are supposed to be cultured, I get it, but does “cultured” equate thirsty?  And, man, the unmoving emotional quality of this beast is magnificently…tame.  Seriously.  Dull.  Slow.  No emotional impact whatsoever.  These characters are supposed to be “haunted” by the death of the author, but for some unknown reason, the only one not obsessed by Gund is student biographer Razaghi, who just has to look handsome most of the time.  He doesn’t really talk about the author, doesn’t present his information to the survivors, and certainly doesn’t do any damn writing.

Oh, but he gets stung by a bee.

And has an affair.

And so do other people.


There’s a reason this film has been sitting on the shelf for the past three years.  The City of Your Final Destination is not a happy place to be at all.  It might have some great actors in some “meaty” parts, but its shortcomings are significant and overwhelmingly rendering it completely artificial. Be warned, this movie is an energy sucker that just might be your final destination should you not know when to...




Component Grades
1.5 stars
DVD Experience
1 stars


DVD Details:

Available on DVD - August 15, 2010
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
: Closed Captioned
English: Dolby Digital 5.1

The DVD includes a 'Making Of' featurette that is purely for Merchant Ivory die-hards only and Ivory's comments on the film.


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