By Simone Joseph
In this bizarre drama, violence is an obsession, a product and a culture.
The End of Violence focuses on Ray Bering (Gabriel Byrne), a surveillance expert working on an FBI project aimed at ending violence in L.A. through the use of video cameras. Ray is able to watch crime as it happens from his laboratory using his surveillance system.
Mike Max (Bill Pullman) is a famous movie producer who makes extremely popular violent thrillers. Because he admires Mike’s work, Ray sends Mike an email message about his own project. Unknown to him, Ray is also being watched by his superiors, spelling disaster for his plans.
Mike’s wife Paige (Andy McDowell) is transformed by his murder from an innocent, neglected wife to a greedy, power-hungry won a who embraces violence as a way of obtaining what she wants.
The End of Violence is a complex web of characters who become interconnected due to a murder. The intricate plot leaves such large gaps that even after the movie, you will be left wondering, “huh?” (It took me two screenings and a massive press kit to fully understand the complexities of the plot).
The End of Violence is also a movie about violence instead of just a movie with scenes of violence.
Director Wim Wenders emphasizes that the movie isn’t meant to preach to the viewers.
“There is not a sing message except that violence is seductive and it changes everyone’s life like a curse,” he says.
While The End of Violence is dark and moody, it also has a light, funny side.
Rap producer Six O One is one of the less intense characters who re-evaluates the violent tone of his songs after receiving an anonymous message on his carphone.
Also, in between the twists and turns of the intricate plot, is the occasional love scene.
While it may have a bizarre, complex plot, The End of Violence is a fast-paced, original film which is worth seeing for its incredible actors and unique premise.