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Saturday, January 5, 2008

Six Degrees of Separation (1993)

Six degrees of separation is based on one important concept: the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person he or she knows and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Think about it; you know somebody who knows somebody and so on to the 6th level, till a person knows George Bush or Cindy Crawford or Vladimir Putin. The movie is actually based on a 1990 play by John Guare, an American playwright, and it was the play that made the term 'six degrees of separation' a famous term.
One interesting usage of this concept was the game, 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon', whereby the aim was to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon within 6 steps. Wikipedia link.

Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
The movie had some excellent performances by the lead trio, Donald Sutherland (playing the stuck-up art dealer, Flan Kittredge, who makes millions), Stockard Channing (playing Ouisa Kittredge to perfection, a role of a person wanting to discover more and eventually does change a fair amount) and best of all Will Smith (playing Paul, one of his earlier roles and trying to make an impression after the success of his TV series, the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air').
The movie starts with a dinner in a posh Manhattan apartment, where the rich art-dealer couple of Flan Kittredge and Ouisa Kittredge are giving dinner to a business associate. And who lands up ? Paul, claiming to be mugged, and a friend of the Kittredge children (with whom the parents rarely speak) and also the son of the famous black actor, Sidney Poitier's.
Paul is a fascinating person, every inch a con man, capable of taking in people with his stories. He entertains the hosts with some fascinating stories and exotic tales, and, tantalizingly, informs them that his father is casting for creating a film version of Cats, and that the hosts can play a role of extras in the films. The film moves in different ways, with a mix of some quirky dialogues, a plot that moves suddenly, and the overall effect is of the unpredictable. The movie also gives the contrast between the have's and the have-nots, between people at different classes of society. Overall, a fairly watchable movie.

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