The Year of Living Dangerously 1.0 stars

The old story of the objective reporter learning to get involved. In this particular telling, the setting is Indonesia, 1965, on the eve of Sukarno's showdown with the Communists. The telling itself is uncommonly muddy: i.e., hard to make out, easy to get stuck in and spin your wheels in. Any lack of clarity, of course, can be excused as, and even paraded as, the provincialism, myopia, senility, etc., of the West. For illumination, or partial illumination, we must turn to the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-feeling Billy Kwan (played, on the opposite side of the sexual border, by actress Linda Hunt). He, the very embodiment of the Mystery of the East, is a ratchet-voiced dwarf who makes us all feel small. Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Murphy; directed by Peter Weir. 1983.

Duncan Shepherd

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