Film Micrœview #7: Betrayal (1983)

09.30.2013 § Leave a comment

I did a lot of arithmetic watching Betrayal, specifically subtraction

I did a lot of arithmetic watching Betrayal, specifically subtraction

I watched this movie because of the Seinfeld episode that parodied it. Also, I was a fan of Memento before I’d heard of either, which uses the same reverse-chronological structure. In Memento, this structure is taken to mind-blowingly profound levels of interconnectedness with the themes and characterization. In Betrayal, not as much, but not to be altogether discounted. I appreciated how it underscored the truth that the most climactic, terrible event of the whole story was the initiation of the central extramarital affair. Spoiler alert, it was almost a twist ending, in how we began the film more or less siding with Jeremy Irons character, the more easily indentifiable-with one, the one who doesn’t claim to beat his wife for shits and giggles. But when we see just how egregiously evilly Irons’ character started the whole mess, it flips it all upside down. Also, I was interested by the fact that they all work in talent-scouting and publishing, yet are not creators of literature themselves – they must see their personal lives as the stage upon which their own creations express themselves through their own persons; they mock their writer friend, who never appears in the action itself, for making his own life into his stories, but these fuckers make their own stories into their lives. That to me is the main win of Betrayal. The acting was great, but otherwise it was a little tedious.

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