‘House of Sand and Fog’ is based on the best selling novel by Andre Dubis the Third with screenplay and direction by Vadim Perelman.
The film tells the story of two people at loggerheads. The movie poster crystallizes this theme showing Kathy (Jennifer Connelly) and Behrani (Ben Kingsley) in an uncompromising, bitter pose.
They both want the same thing and it is a battle to the end as to who will finally have it.
The fight is over a house. Kathy, a beautiful but troubled woman, has been evicted from her home by local county sheriffs for not paying taxes. The house was her inheritance from her father. Kathy gets legal advice that she has been wrongfully evicted.
The problem is that before she can do anything about it, the county has listed her property for sale and the house is sold at a greatly undervalued price. The buyer is a Mr Behrani, a former Iranian colonel. Behrani has brought his family to America to make a fresh start, fleeing from the oppression in his homeland.
What ensues is a gigantic battle of wills as Kathy does everything in her power to get her house back, whilst Behrani determinedly holds onto his new acquisition.
‘House of Sand and Fog’ was an outstanding drama. Greed, procrastination, avarice, lust, abuse of power, manipulation, racism, a spectrum of human vulnerabilities and complexities are all on show.
I found the essence of ‘House of Sand and Fog’ to be that all three main players are slaves to their emotions, and lack any insight into their selfishness, and the damages their actions cause.
Kathy can’t see past her huge emotional investment in her house. Behrani’s vision doesn’t extend past building a financial future for his family. Lester allows his desire for Kathy to overwhelm his career, and his life.
Ben Kingsley is a fine dramatic actor and he demonstrates his prowess in his portrayal of a deeply proud man who cannot cope seeing his feeling of power drain from him.
Connelly matches Kingsley’s performance. She charts her character’s journey well, from something of a self centered prig to a a compassionate, sensitive woman.
Ron Eldard’s performance as Lester was deeply felt. I had a real handle on his character. A wishy washy man, easily swayed and manipulated in any direction. Kathy hardly has to press a button for him to go into action for her.
‘House of Sand and Fog’ is highly recommended. This was one of those films that one can talk about endlessly over a good meal and a glass of wine.