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December 01, 1997 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-01

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 1, 1997 - 9A

I

Tired Grisham formula clouds
Coppola's unoriginal 'Rainmaker'

The Cure for the common music.
~ECOR DS
Continued from Page SA
them killer bees ... / tell me this is not
for real/ please tell me this is not for
real ... ."
After "Staring At the Sea," the first
Cute singles collection released in
1986, the spellbinding music re-
rleased on "Galore" rounds out the
est to create a comprehensive Cure
9cture.
The upbeat new track "Wrong
d4umber" is reminiscent of the 'pop'
sound U2 strives to attain. This crazed
tune includes cryptic lyrics: "I've got
the best laid plans this side of America
/ started under George / and feelings
with Angelica / and now I'm digging in
the dirt / and I'm down here for
4rhile."
After listening to "Galore," the only
*ng to do is beg like Oliver Twist,
"Please sir, can I have some more?"
n hoping "Wrong Number" is not
just a tease, and that more songs are
brewing in the minds of the band. The
world needs more new Cure songs,
fresh Robert Smith-spawned lyrics and
more captivating ballads to sing down
the street with friends.
- Marquina Iliev

By Laura Flyer
Daily Arts Writer
Why Francis Ford Coppola, perhaps
one of the few directors who creates the
most original, intensifying movies,
reduced himself to the banality present
in his latest adaptation of John
Grisham's novel,
"The Rainmaker," R
is beyond compre-
hension.1Th
The reason for T
its disappointing
outcome has less to At B
do with the multi-
tude of talented actors and actresses in
the film than with its nature and pro-
gression.
Who hasn't heard the story about the
young, inexperienced lawyer who
becomes a hero because he exposes
corruptive practices in large corpora-
tions and among other lawyers? Maybe
this unoriginal plot should be excused
because Grisham particularly likes it, as
shown in most of his best-selling nov-
els.
But given the fact that Coppola had
the opportunity to prove he can make a
great film out of an uninspired script
makes "The Rainmaker" all the more
depressing, because he failed to make
any exciting impressions.
Fresh out of graduate school, Rudy
Baylor (Matt Damon) wants to make an
honest buck in the city of Memphis,
already rife with lawyers. He naively
finds employment where he hopes to
secure a promising lawyer-client rela-
tionship, only to find out that his sleazy
boss, Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke)

e
Bri

has suspicious connections to the very
criminals he defends. Rudy also disap-
proves of the degrading method of
snagging clients who haven't even left
their hospital bed and so he sets off with
partner Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito)
to open their own law office.
He and Deck
E V I E W form a dependable
friendship as they
Rainmaker work together to
convict the bad
guys and save the
arwood and Showcase good guys.
Rudy is involved
in cases ranging from an elderly woman
and her questionable benefactors, a
young woman named Kelly (Claire
Danes) married to a physical abuser
("Melrose Place" veteran Andrew Shue
lands this small role), and - what the
movie specifically focuses on - a
woman whose son is repeatedly denied
insurance coverage for his potentially
treatable Leukemia.
The lesson Rudy learns from his
short-lived experience in the legal
workplace is that many lawyers and
clients are deceiving and only trying to
rake in the money.
Even DeVito, his trusting partner, has
a greedy side to him, as he tells Rudy
that he is the rainmaker of wealth pour-
ing from the sky when he wins court
cases.
While there were conflicts in each of
Rudy's three legal situations, there was
no central climax in the movie, thus the
continual buildup became tiresome and
unexciting. Various pauses during
close-up shots of characters were at

times effective and definitely Coppola-
esque, but some were a complete over-
dramatization of unnecessary tensions.
Perhaps the strangest absurdity of
"The Rainmaker" is the unlikely and
bizarre relationship between Rudy and
Kelly. Rudy says he can't rid himself of
the sympathy he has for her, but he dis-
covers that he has fallen in love with
Kelly. Suddenly he's involved with a
girl in which their relationship is based
on his pressure for her to get a divorce
and to put an end to herthusband's beat-
ings.
Coppola tries to portray Rudy as the
heroic lawyer, champion of direct con-
tact with clients and one-on-one rela-
tionships.
If he's supposed to be a hero, should-
n't he follow the morally correct
proverb, "two wrongs don't make a
right"? In the film, however, he tampers

Claire Danes is an abused wife and Matt Damon is her savior in Francis Ford
Coppola's predictable production of John Grisham's predictable "The RainmakOr."

with the jury selection process to get
back at the defense lawyers who man-
aged to bug his office.
Rudy decides not to tattle-tale their
misdemeanor if they don't make a big
deal about his bending of the legal
rules.
So, as it turns out, his morals and
honesty aren't that great after all, and he

is unconvincing as any martyr in "The
Rainmaker."
DeVito has a few funny lines and he
is convincing in his character.
But Deck's (DeVito) klutziness is a
little silly and odd, especially during
emotional court scenes. He and Rudy
are supposed to be inexperienced
lawyers, not a couple of stooges.

I

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