Woody tries his hand at tragedy

(Canscene) — Following the “serious” thriller Match Point, Woody Allen comes up with the tragic Cassandra’s Dream, also filmed in England.

It’s the story of two hard-drinking Cockney brothers, Terry (Colin Farrell) obsessed with gambling and Ian (Ewan Mc Gregor) with ideas “beyond his station” and an abiding passion for a young actress. Cassandra’s Dream is the name of a boat they share, so named because it’s been bought with winnings on a greyhound of that name.

But both brothers fall deeper and deeper into trouble, one from gambling debts, the other fearing the phoney personality he has given himself will be uncovered.

Enter affluent, smooth talking, globetrotting Uncle Howard who puts temptation in the boys’ way; he’ll help them financially if they “do a little job” for him.

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Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell : brothers caught up in murderous plot

But the “job” is the murder of Howard’s alienated business associate and as they find they cannot refuse Howard their love for each other begins to fall apart, and the boys are driven headlong toward the tragic ending.

On release, Cassandra’s Dream is likely to excite much debate about its place in the Allen canon of work but for me, the film was satisfying with good performances from Farrell and McGregor and a superb character role for Tom Wilkinson as the scheming uncle. This many-sided actor gives what is arguably his finest performance, but then there have been many such in his career.
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