Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cameron Diaz devours in the crime thriller "The Counselor"

Cameron Diaz in "The Counselor"

Renowned filmmaker Ridley Scott whose genre-defying films such as “Gladiator,” “Black Hawk Down,” “Alien” and “American Gangster” takes the crime-thriller genre a notch higher in his latest movie “The Counselor.”

“The Counselor” brings together a dream cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt.  The characters co-exist in the dark, tough and merciless world of drug cartel where a lawyer known only as the Counselor (Fassbender) is lured into the excitement, danger and easy-money of drug-trafficking, but finds that his momentary decision leads him on a downward spiral of unstoppable events and fatal consequences. The Counselor finds himself way out of his depth when an unplanned series of events lead to tragic consequences for both him and his fiancée, Laura (Penélope Cruz).  Cruz’s real-life husband, Javier Bardem plays Reiner, a larger-than-life nightclub owner who brings The Counselor into the shady deal. 

Strong female leads are a Scott hallmark and Cameron Diaz portrays one of the filmmaker’s toughest and darkest characters ever. Diaz brings a rich history of comedic and dramatic work to her portrayal of Malkina, Reiner’s malevolent girlfriend who is sophisticated, sexy and darkly unsettling.   She is a sociopath whose lack of empathy means she’s capable of anything.  Malkina’s power stems from her relentless drive to take control and possess anything she believes she deserves.  Whatever the consequences of her actions, she feels absolutely no remorse.

Diaz who has appeared in almost all film genres, immediately responded to the script of “The Counselor.”  “Malkina is extremely smart. She is capable of anything. There is no humanity in Malkina.  The two questions she’s always asking herself are: how can I get what I deserve?  What do I have coming to me? Nothing else, no one else, is of any concern to her. Malkina is so powerful because she understands the consequences of her actions more than any other character,” says Diaz of her character.

“The only thing she wants is more [of everything],” adds Diaz.  “Malkina is compelled to take the power of every man, devour it, and then break down every woman.”  Diaz, who shares most of her scenes with Bardem, describes the characters’ complicated relationship:  “Malkina has found her sweet spot in Reiner. He is a man who will do anything for her, and of course, she had created that scenario.  Inadvertently, he has allowed her to take control of his world, to insert herself amidst his business dealings and take what she believes she deserves. Worse still, she has a good time doing it.

Ruining people’s lives is a sport for her.  It makes her feel alive. Reiner desperately wants to make her happy but she will never be happy. He will always keep trying, which means she can get whatever she wants, however she wants it and just give him enough to keep coming back.”

Sharing a considerable amount of screen time with a pair of cheetahs, Diaz wore a cheetah tattoo on her back and explains the link: “It’s the purity of the hunter in the cheetah she responds to and indeed loves.  The tattoo symbolizes her adoration and admiration for the cheetah because she feels such a kinship she is literally assuming their skin – the skin of the hunter because that’s who she is.”

Diaz made her feature film debut at age 21, captivating moviegoers as femme fatale Tina Carlisle in “The Mask.”  She has since starred in more films including “There’s Something About Mary,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Shrek,” “Vanilla Sky” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding”  that have grossed more than $100 million internationally.  She also went on to star in such independent films as “ The Last Supper,” “Feeling Minnesota,” opposite Keanu Reeves and Edward Burns’ “She’s the One.”

“The Counselor” opens November 13 in theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

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