The Adjuster | Chicago Reader

The Adjuster

Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's fourth feature (1991), attractively shot in 'Scope by Paul Sarossy, is a lot closer in style and form to his third, Speaking Parts, than to his first or second, Next of Kin and Family Viewing—which is to say that the story line seems to be only secondary. Principally the film consists of steady crosscutting between underlighted depictions of sexual perversity and spiritual deprivation that might be called “Capitalism and Its Discontents.” The narrative consists of several interlocking, highly didactic metaphors involving displacement: an insurance adjuster (Elias Koteas) has sex with several clients who have lost all their belongings in fires, his estranged wife (Egoyan regular Arsinee Khanjian) works as a government censor and sneaks videos of the porn films she sees to her sister (Rose Sarkisyan), and a former football player (Maury Chaykin) and his wife (Gabrielle Rose) devote their lives to playing out elaborate and expensive sex fantasies. Despite some dark and suggestive poetry in all the arty murk, the movie seems too caught up in the puritanical illnesses of its characters to provide any commentary but the most obvious.

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