Well, thirteen short conversations

Review of Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001)

Review of Thirteen Conversations About One Thing (2001) movie, by Stefan Stenudd


The title is not very accurate. There is some dialogue in the film, but not more than usual in drama - actually a bit less. That's a pity. People are confronted by twists of fate, so I would have liked to hear them comment more on it, share more of their thoughts and reflections.



       Movies today have an exaggerated fear of words. There's a lot of one-liners instead of dialogue. But Shakespeare was not wrong, words words words bear meaning, explore characters, make food for thoughts. It demands excellence from the writer - whether the dialogue is high-brow or not - and maybe that's what's mostly missing.

       In this film, the underdeveloped conversations leave the characters a bit superficial, their souls still closed to us, even when disaster strikes them. A pity, since there are some interesting people - like the DA with a conscience doing a sort of Raskolnikov thing, the middle-aged man unable to take any initiative in his life, and others. I'm sure they have more to say, than they do.

       Still, the film on the whole is a pleasant poem, where the lines have been mixed around but the meaning remains crystal clear. I'd say that's the one thing: meaning. It is, isn't it?

Stefan Stenudd
29 January 2003




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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.