Ten Little Cops in Intensive Care
I tracked this down because of Polly Walker, someone whose early film career was really impressive, and I got caught up in this rather interesting project. It attempts an awful lot, starting with an Agatha Christie mystery foundation, “Ten Little Indians” except in this case the ten are all cops.
On that, the idea was to walk through a dozen or so film allusions, keeping a distance between the real world (the mystery) and the pretend world (the world of the allusions and incidentally the serial killer). That is why there’s such an emphasis on sight and eyes, complete with “King Lear” reference (even a reference to the Godard version). I think that’s why Polly was approached: her work with Greenaway immediately before this was filmed.
The problem is that the director — even though he clearly understood the problem — couldn’t figure out a cinematic convention to separate the two realities. So it appears that the project is aimless, trying to be rather than refer to many things at once. He’s not helped at all by Sly who should have been smart enough to blend into the ensemble. It is not about him, at least as written, but he insists on doing his imitation of pain in every scene.
If you have the yogic discipline to see the project that might have been behind the confusion of what is, you might like this.
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.