Revolver launched at The Toronto Film Festival is attracting much controversy, as well as being mauled by the movie critics.In an exclusive interview we get at the writer and movie Director Guy Ritchie, the brains behind the movie to find out his veiws motivations and responses.
Where did the inspiration for Revolver come from?It was a culmination of concepts really, but a germ got stuck in my mind about one particular concept: the con of all cons. I'm fascinated by how you can trick the mind and the individual, and this concept was so audacious, so radical, that I was attracted to say the least. The formula of the con is quite simple - you seduce people by their own greed. We can all be conned but at what point do we realize that we're being conned and to what point do we allow ourselves to be conned. There was a famous book called The Big Con, which works on the formula that it is impossible to con an honest man. I was attracted to that idea too. The great challenge then was to take an intellectual concept and clothe it in an exciting, action-packed narrative because concepts are not necessarily interesting to look at. It's important that the film delivers on an entertaining level. What you want in the cinema is entertainment but I like to be intellectually titillated while being sensorially stimulated. It took me three years to write this film whereas Snatch took me three months. Fundamentally, it's not a very complicated film, it's actually quite simple, but to clothe it within a narrative was quite complicated.
Why did you call it Revolver?I've always been surprised that no other movie has ever been called Revolver because it just sounds cool. So I like the name but I also like the concept that, if you're in a game, it keeps revolving until you realize that you are in a game and then maybe you can start evolving. The film is based on the formula of a game: where does the game start, where does it stop and who's conning who.
Is it a film with a message?I don't think there is a message in the movie. The idea is that that there is no such thing as an external enemy. Jake Green is playing against Jake Green. That's quite a hard concept to get your head around initially - of course, if there is only an internal enemy, he wouldn't want you to get your head around it. So it's based on the formula that you can only get smarter by playing a smarter opponent. Who is the ultimate opponent? Yourself. Then comes the principle that your enemy will always hide in the last place that you would ever look. The last place you would look is inside your head and the last place you would look inside your head is behind fear. I'm not saying that formula's correct, it's just a formula and I'm interested in formulas. In this particular instance, the only opponent Jake Green has to challenge is himself by doing exactly what he doesn't want to do.
To that extent, are his experiences an allegory for life?It's funny, I never expected as a writer-director to end up talking about high-falutin' concepts. I got into filmmaking because I was interested in making entertaining movies, which I felt there was a lack of. Jake Green isn't just Jake Green. Jake represents all of us. The color green is the central column of the spectrum and the name Jake has all sorts of numerical values. All things come back to him within the film's world of cons and games. Jake's on a journey of how to play the game. He's very good at playing games and he's done very well out of playing by a certain formula but he didn't realize how big and consistent that formula is. He only saw the formula in its microscopic form and didn't realize that it could be macroscopic.
How does he get drawn into the game?One of the first rules of business is to protect your investment. I like the idea that we do the same with our personal philosophies. Once we have decided what's right, irrelevant of whether we are right or wrong, the more energy we will invest to protect that. Which is basically how conmen work. They get you to invest a little bit, then a bit more. They never tell you to buy something, just take a look.
Even looking's an investment. Once you've contributed some of your energy to looking - appraising a certain article - then a small investment has been made. From a small investment comes a larger investment, from a larger investment comes a greater investment until eventually you've invested so much that you can't be wrong. Because if you are wrong, it must mean you're stupid and nobody can admit that they're stupid.
Jake is prompted to invest to counteract the threat of a fatal disease that's hanging over him-
The only way to handle this concept within an hour and 45 minutes of film is to cut to the chase, and there's nothing quite like death looming on the horizon to precipitate events. Let's get the party started, and the only way that can happen is the imminent threat of death.
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