Movie Thirty Four
A movie like The Conversation simply would not be the same if it was made today. The fact that the entire purpose of the film is hinged on capturing a conversation using then state of the art technology.
Throughout the course of the film we watch as a couple have a conversation. This conversation is being recorded by several people through different means. We do not know why this seemingly benign conversation is happening, nor why it is being recorded. The couple is wary of being recorded and they think walking in a large public space will keep their privacy. In 2012, a satellite would have been able to record their entire conversation, videotape them, and likely a myriad of other things as well.
We soon meet Gene Hackman, a mastermind at private surveillance and the technology involved. He becomes engrossed in the conversation which he has to record but a past event has caused him to try to remain a neutral third party, a mere eavesdropper. As the movie progresses the story unfolds and our questions begin to be answered, but more questions arise.
As the tensions rise and we start to understand what is going on, the film does a complete 180 in one of the best twists in cinema. Suddenly everything we have heard from the couples conversation makes sense, it seems so obvious!
The Conversation is a gripping thriller from start to finish. While Coppola is best known for the first two Godfather movies and Apocalypse Now, The Conversation is not a film to be missed. It is taut, well-paced and exciting.
I give it 5 saxophone playing Hackmans out of 5.