Fay Grim (Hartley, 2007)


What a fascinating world Hartley has created with Henry Fool and its sequel Fay Grim. Both are linked by similar conflicts and familiar characters, yet are defined by completely different genres and tones. With Fay Grim, Hartley shifts his focus toward the spy genre, wonderfully inserting his conflicted characters into a vastly contrasting world of espionage and violence, but basing this shift within the overarching story concerning Henry’s eight volume confession. Fay Grim is like a candy store for Hartley/Henry Fool junkies, opening up new portals of viewer investment with more plot enigmas and character possibilities. Hartley smartly focuses his attention on the timeless Parker Posey and her boldly expressive facial ticks, allowing her to embolden a character who in Henry Fool feels left out, but in Fay Grim (hence the title) gets to jump head first into the expanding cat-and-mouse game. Fay’s quest gives Henry a haunting ending of disappointment and regret that makes their lives together both tragic and affirming, entwined and broken. Hartley’s great achievement lies in having created two cinematic siblings that convincingly feed off one another without feeling carbon-copied or tired, a feat rarely achieved these days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s