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Echoes of Paradise Movie Review

noyce filmmakers shadows peacock

Philip Noyce's Echoes of Paradise/Shadows of the Peacock treats the age-old theme of the married woman with young children who has a fling with a promiscuous young man who is totally wrong for her, who realizes it 90 long minutes later, and who returns to her family with an experience she appears to have placed well behind her. It fails to answer the question of the ‘80s (and ‘90s): if yesterday's filmmakers could treat international crises like two World Wars and the Great Depression within months of their respective beginnings, why don't many of today's filmmakers wake up to the fact that the ‘80s (and the ‘90s) are the Plague Years? A woman who hops into bed with an obvious gigolo or male prostitute isn't looking for mere adventure or heightened identity anymore. She's risking a long, painful death for herself and agony for her family who watch her die. If condoms are too threatening to deal with on film, then filmmakers can always set the film in another period when casual sex was less deadly. Even if Noyce HAD done that, though, this movie would still be an uninvolving snoozer, with little but the scenery to recommend it. AKA:Shadows of the Peacock. woof!

1986 (R) 90m/C AU Wendy Hughes, John Lone, Rod Mullinar, Peta Toppano, Steve Jacobs, Gillian Jones; D: Phillip Noyce; C:Peter James. VHS, LV

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