The movie dramatizes the risk and cost of this work. The writing of the book, his artistic endeavour, takes over Capote’s life. His relationship with the murderer Perry Smith overshadows his relationship with his lover and all others. In Perry Smith, Capote sees something to fascinate his readers, but also a darker image of his own temperament. The movie portrays Smith seduced, betrayed and immortalized by the writer’s attention and, again according to the Times review, “unflinchingly faces the moral abyss at the heart of the journalistic enterprise”. Capote’s great literary success with the book achieved one ambition for him, that of acknowledged, high voltage professional admiration for work that was unique and groundbreaking, in a league by itself; while his abandonment of his moral code meant failure of another, apparently for Capote a more important goal: his ego ideal of goodness and compassion. The arch between these provides the tension in the movie.
Why does Kit leave? Why does she take the hand of an exotic stranger and climb onto the back of Belquassim’s camel, going off with him into the unknown? And why does she flee again, after being devastated and then rescued from hospital, failing to seek safety or to learn to conform after … [Read more…]