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Character Analysis Of Rod Lurie's 'Straw Dogs'

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The original 1971 "Straw Dogs" is one of my favorite films of all time. Rod Lurie's update of "Straw Dogs" is a major improvement in several ways.The most obvious being Kate Bosworth's character, Amy. No longer is Amy a one dimensional "evil, back stabbing temptress." Amy can still be a petulant child, but she is no longer driven by spite. This is an important distinction and prevents her character from becoming "one of them," betraying David, earning the audiences anger and losing their understanding. Amy still "relaxes" about mid way thru the rape, not because she is excited but because she is disgusted with Charlie and with herself. Let me be clear: she doesn't blame herself for the rape! she's disgusted that she could ever have desired…show more content…
The center piece, the force around which the others gravitate. Without a strong performance here the movie falls apart. James Marsden has always been capable in the X-Men movies, but whereas in the comics Cyclops is THE leader, in the movies, Marsden just kind of fades into the background, giving up the lead to Wolverine. His performance here makes me want to believe its more than just a one-off. From slapping the hundred dollar bill on the bar (he has no idea he's insulting them) to shooting the deer in the forest (tragic?) to the end scene ("I got them all" is that a smile on his face?) this is an Oscar worthy performance. A multi-layered performance to his character that just wasn't there in the original. Which brings us to Rod Lurie. First thing I realized when I started watching his 2011 version of "Straw Dogs," is Mr. Lurie knows the original AND is a huge fan. This is not a remake, nor an homage so much as a realization of the potential of the original material. Peckinpah's "Straw Dogs" has always been a flawed masterpiece by those who love it, myself included. Dustin Hoffman is at his peak, Susan George gives the performance of her career. David Warner (God himself) would never be better. The build up to the climax is unbearable. But there are problems. Amy's former "friends" are interchangeable. The two leads themselves are hard to emphasize with. Amy isn't just childish, she's vain, opportunistic and she stabs David in the back
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