copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

It is really weird how the starting credits show the characters as they appear in scenes from the movie. That is something you see at the start of a show but looks weird in a movie. Like a collage of not-spoilers. Anyway…


Parts of this movie can be hard to understand and that is largely due to the dialogue. For one, a number of characters, especially the main villain, speak with an accent that takes a moment to understand. The other reason is the words used. Characters use fancy gangster language, like "fold the con" and contemporary terms like "Faro" (a card game apparently). A combination of this cool language and quick mumbled speech means that it is hard to understand anyone, sometimes with the frequency of every sentence in a scene.


Some dialogue is happening in the background. Some of it does not get a set-up and none of it comes with any explanation for the viewer. All of this makes the movie sound natural and smart, but it also results in loss of meaning.


Where the movie really shines is when it comes to its performances. The two main leads, Robert Redford and Paul Newman are really charming. Possibly the archetype of a charming bandit. The villain, played by Robert Shaw, though he acts well, is a weak character. He looks intelligent, but he eats up everything the other con artists feed him.


In general the story breaks down if you think too much about it. For example, without spoiling anything, ask yourself after watching this movie: why would a trained assassin waste several days pretending to be someone else just to kill an unarmed person when there were countless opportunities to do so, and then you will find an answer: for the sake of an exciting twist.


Also, where did all these conmen find all the money they needed for the big job? The two main characters especially are shown to be down on their luck and the con involves an army of people, rented spaces and investments.


It feels like this movie fooled many people into believing that it is smarter than it actually is.Having said that, it is really charming and well-acted.

The Sting