Three Easy Pieces
ROBERT DUPEA, the alienated hero of Five Easy Pieces, was a concert pianist, and has become an oil rigger. Among the various questions which may occur to you while watching the film are: Why has he dropped out? From what is he alienated? Was there any period of transition between his having been a pianist and having become a laborer? Did music ever really mean anything in his life? And is it music or something else that he means when he says to his father, late in the film, “Anyway, we both know I was never that good at it”? Among the questions which occurred to me was: How did this modest film of modest virtues, the equivalent in films of what is usually thought of as a good “first novel,” ever manage to elicit such extravagant press notices as are being quoted in the ads for it?-and this question provoked in me a good deal more real curiosity than did any of the others.
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