Saturday, March 5, 2011

181. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945)

Running Time: 92 minutes
Directed By: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Written By: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Main Cast: Wendy Hiller, Roger Livesey, Pamela Brown, Finlay Currie, George Carney


Next in our week dedicated to the writing and directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is "I Know Where I'm Going!". It's currently streaming via Netflix for those interested, but I'd say it's only for die hard fans of Powell and Pressburger who have yet to see this one. Personally, I was not enthused with it.

The plot is incredibly dry, in my opinion, and revolves around Joan Webster (Hiller), a woman who has always known exactly what she wanted and has made sure always to get it. From her days as a girl when she wrote to Father Christmas and asked him for a pair of silk stocking - "real silk, not imitation!", to her days as a young woman when she would find a man who would take her to the movies at least twice a week and to a nice restaurant once a month. As an adult, she has made up her mind on marriage and is determined to go to the Kiloran to marry a wealthy businessman, old enough to be her father. In fact, the film starts as she breaks the news to her own father and hops a train for her first stop in a number of stops before she finally arrives in Kiloran. Her last stop before catching a boat to Kiloran is the Isle of Mull, where she is forced to wait out the weather, first fog, which later turns to a full-scale gale. While stranded on the Isle of Mull, Joan meets several people, most notably Torquil MacNeil (Livesey), whom she becomes acquainted with. They basically mingle and get to know one another while they're stuck on the island, as MacNeil is also trying to get to Kiloran. Ultimately Joan can't bear to wait any longer and bribes a young sailor to take her to Kiloran, which leads to the films best scene as the young sailor, Joan and Torquil nearly die trying to get to Kiloran.

I've always tried to prevent myself from using the word "boring" when trying to describe the reasons why I don't like a film. I just think it's a very lazy way to sum up reasons for dismissing an entire production. However, I am going to use the word boring, but I will back that word up with some reasoning. This film was boring! There I've said it - now lets examine why, shall we? First of all, the entire plot revolves around a woman who know what she wants and in the end her plans are changed and she is forced to come to the realization that for the first time in her life she is living spontaneously. That's the core of this movie. In the meantime, she meets Torquil and they become friends, tip-toeing around a romantic relationship. I just found everything very dry and very uninteresting. Bearing in mind that I've only seen two of their pictures thus far, Powell and Pressburger seem to be making films that appeal to a much older audience. I can almost imagine my grandparents sitting around and watching the type of film like "I Know Where I'm Going!" on a Saturday afternoon, as it rained outside and they were huddled under afghans. It's not to say that I am not mature enough to realize the interest in a film like this, it's just that it all doesn't appeal to me and in the case of this particular film, I honestly don't understand how it can appeal to anyone. I found myself watching the clock, like a hawk and wanting this movie to just end and thank God it was only an hour and a half.

As for the positives, as few as there are, I think Roger Livesey was a great actor, although I did enjoy him in "Colonel Blimp" more than I did here. I also highly enjoyed the boat scene, where the trio were almost sucked into a vortex in the water. It was filmed really well and provided a little action and excitement in a film where excitement seemed to be banned. In fact, the camera work was all around really solid and there were a couple of really good shots, so kudos on that. That's about it, as far as pluses go. I'll keep this one short and sweet and suffice it to say that I did not enjoy "I Know Where I'm Going!".

RATING: 3/10 I'm not giving up on Powell and Pressburger just yet. Next up is "A Matter of Life and Death" and I have high hopes for this one. Should be back later today for that review.


March 5, 2011 2:58pm

1 comment:

  1. Oh dear, I'm sorry you are (generaly) not getting on all that well with P&P.
    They are, admitedly, very much 'of their time'... That time is before my time, but as I'm also sadly subject to thinking things were better back then (despite all evidence to the contrary!), I do rather like this stuff.


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