Saturday, January 02, 2016

30 Days of The Fade Out: The Broken Ones.

The Fade Out #5 was released on April 15th, 2015, after a brief hiatus for the Criminal Special Edition one-shot released toward the beginning of the year.  Following a three-page preview, the issue was well received with critics awarding an average score of (another) 9.1 on a ten-point scale.

The Movie.  Production has left the studio lot to film re-shoots on location, specifically on the standing sets for the "small town Main Street" and the "mountain cabin hideout," both located on the ranch co-founder Al Kamp owns in Ojai.  Charlie Parish (and his secret ghostwriter Gil Mason) accompanied the crew to work on rewrites at night, as the director Franz Schmitt has rejected some of the new dialogue as inferior to the original script.

The Murder.  Charlie recalls his last trip to Ojai, for the original location shoot with Val Sommers, while Gil rejects his better judgment to leave the motel room to play poker.  Both encounter the senile and lecherous Al Kamp, Charlie in his memories and Gil at the bar.  Brodsky arrives to take care of Kamp, and he threatens Gil into forgetting the old man was ever there:  balking at the bullying and condescension, Gil quietly decides that he's going to bring down the studio's corrupt leadership.

It is perhaps appropriate that the issue was released on Tax Day, as the bills started to come due for more than one character.   Neither Charlie nor Gil could run, not just from the truth of Val's murder, but from their own fatal flaws.  Charlie tries to "run from his troubles" and the paranoia prompted by that mysterious man in the horn-rimmed glasses, but he can't run from the "ghosts" of the memories that he'd rather forget.  Meanwhile -- and not for the last time -- Gil indulges his worst habit of putting himself in all the wrong places.

It's been observed that, in drama, tragedy often results from the fatal pairing of a person's flaws and those special circumstances that exploit those flaws:  switch their places, and the hot-headed Othello and the hesitant Hamlet would have avoided their downfalls, as the murdered king would have been quickly avenged while the falsely accused wife would have been examined and found blameless.

Here, we have two men in the same circumstances, and the same awful truth prompts opposite responses that both lead to trouble.

The narrator notes that "Charlie has always been drawn to the broken ones," whether it's Val or Maya, who's hiding something behind her smile.

But they're not the only ones who are broken.

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