Watch Looking for Palladin
- 1 hr 55 min
Looking for Palladin is a 2008 indie drama movie directed and co-written by Andrzej Krakowski. The movie stars Ben Gazzara, David Moscow, and Talia Shire. Set in Guatemala, this character study explores the aftermath of a celebrated Hollywood actor's mysterious disappearance. Gazzara plays Jack Palladin, a retired movie star who vanished a few years back while in the Central American country of Guatemala. Moscow is Josh Ross, a young, aspiring film-maker who has been offered a job to track down Palladin and convince him to appear in a small ceremony where he would be honored as the country's filmmaker-in-residence.
Frustrated by the tight-lipped locals and an unyielding Palladin, Josh finds himself in the process of discovering himself and the various ways his life has failed him. His hopes of landing a quick job in the industry slowly unravels and the question of whether or not he will be able to convince Palladin to come hangs precariously over the storyline.
The movie shines with its performances. Gazzara, in one of his final roles before passing away, fills the role of the wily veteran with an effortless and commanding grace. The film's supporting cast features some of Guatemala's finest actors, including Pedro ArmendÃ¡riz Jr. as Don Ernesto, one of the few people who knows anything about Palladin's whereabouts.
But it's David Moscow who proves the biggest revelation. The actor best known for his role in Big in the late 80s turns in a subtle and sensitive performance that gives the film its most grounded and accomplished moments.
Though the narrativeâs pacing can be inconsistent at times, the depiction of the Guatemalan village where Palladin has gone into self-imposed exile is shot beautifully. The lush landscapes and colorful architecture make for a thoroughly inviting destination. Cinematographer Hernan Toro captures some stunning images of the country and its inhabitants that add a sense of spirituality to the proceedings.
The filmâs exploration of friendship is especially notable as well. Although Josh is introducing himself on the pretext of a job, he and Palladin develop a bond of mutual respect that is palpable on screen. It's not long before Palladin is confiding in Josh and sharing stories from his past. The gracious, happy-go-lucky aspect of Palladin's personality masks a traumatic family event and an existence that has become emotionally empty.
The movie's screenplay also touches on some relevant social issues that are topical even today, such as the gap between the privileged and the working class. And with its depiction of the Guatemala's indigenous population, the movie reminds us that we are all connected and that our actions have ripple effects in people's lives far beyond ourselves.
Krakowski's direction is confident and he never hits a false note during the run time of Looking for Palladin. He manages to draw some magnificent performances from his cast and beautifully captures the Guatemalan landscape.
All in all, Looking for Palladin is an effective character study that touches on some powerful themes such as redemption and healing, and boasts strong performances from a sterling cast, with Ben Gazzara's sensitive portrayal being the anchor that holds everything together. The movie's engrossing narrative revels in the idea of discovery and the unyielding of life's secrets, making it one of the most impactful indie releases of recent years.
Looking for Palladin is a 2009 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.2 and a MetaScore of 34.