"Along with cinematographer Jim Denault,
Dillon comes equipped with some heavyweight support, notably in
the formidable form of Gerard Depardieu, as a barroom owner, and
Stellan Skarsgård, as Marvin's cagey aide-de-camp. A consummate
secondary player, Skarsgård stealthily worms into his role."
is smarmily effective as the double-dealing Kaspar."
"The movie fairly
oozes with atmosphere, and its cast contains enough colorful
characters to make Casablanca blush.Stellan Skarsgård
is Kaspar (shades of The Maltese Falcon), a supposed
associate of Marvin's, but really friend or foe?"
"Stellan Skarsgård is convincing as Marvin's
devious associate." ...Exclaim!
"There is Kaspar (Stellan
Skarsgård), also working for
Marvin, underutilized but always a pleasure to watch."
...San Diego Metro
suitably bipolar in his strengths and allegiances. He defines
the environment when he says, 'The
whole country needs a paint job.'" ..Filmcritic.com
plays the shifty partner perfectly, while McElhone is great as
the love interest for Dillon."
"Phnom Penh is a
far more compelling presence than any of the characters,
sullen, sweaty Kaspar gives it a run
for its money." ...TV Guide
"Dillon has put
together a superior supporting cast: Gerard Depardieu as a
Frenchman who's gone native with a vengeance and now runs a
seedy hotel and saloon; Stellan Skarsgård
as Jimmy's wimpy-yet-dangerous criminal confederate."
...Kansas City Star
Skarsgård as Kaspar,
Marvin's obsequious associate, gives the one great performance.
He is so perfectly nuanced that we feel Kaspar's pangs of
conscience much more soundly than Jimmy's." ...Boxoffice
surprisingly, has a good eye. He gets some excellent
performances from his talented cast, which includes
Stellan Skarsgård and
Gérard Depardieu." ...Fox
supporting cast includes Stellan Skarsgård
as a slimy interloper and, in the role of Dillon's ambiguous
mentor, James Caan, who acts with a lightly sinister panache
that reminds you of why he was once a star."
is perfectly unsavory as Marvin's overseas henchman
oozing unsavoriness playing Caan’s right hand man and Gerard
Depardieu giving a demonstrative turn as the proprietor of a
run-down bar and hotel." ...efilmcritic.com
"Dillon does an admirable job as
actor, flanked by the unwavering talents of Caan, Skarsgård
and Depardieu." ...Palo Alto
pulls off yet another gem as Kaspar, one of Caan's henchmen."
is remarkable as the slippery Kaspar.
His natural 'business man abroad'
looks twist towards the plot until, by the end of the film, he's
positively under your skin - and you feel like you need some
"Mr. Dillon as
director has assembled a top-of-the-line cast: James Caan,
Gérard Depardieu, Stellan Skarsgård and Natascha McElhone."
"Kaspar – one of Marvin’s
henchmen (well played by Stellan Skarsgård)."
"The likes of Stellan Skarsgärd (The Glass
House, Timecode), Gerard Depardieu
(The Closet, 102 Dalmatians)
and Sereyvuth Kem (making his debut) are all good in their
respective parts." ...Screen it!
by Jim Denault and performances that rise above the stock
characters (the cast also includes Stellan Skarsgård
as Marvin's right-hand creep, and one very industrious monkey."
...Detroit Free Press
is a convincing double-crossing associate." ...About.com
"The grouping of Skarsgård, Dillon, Caan and
McElhone results in good chemistry and performances that connect
well." ...Current Film
"In choosing Caan, Depardieu and Skarsgard to
play the film’s trio of shifty expatriates, Dillon has fashioned
a group of supporting players whose storytelling abilities tie
in beautifully with his hallucinatory tale." ...Film
It took five years to get the project off the ground. Dillon
says he almost shot it in 1998 but financing fell through.
Finally, in 2001, it was green lighted for $10 million. The
first-rate cast came together despite the low budget and the onerous
locations. One that Dillon wanted to use but couldn't was a
brothel outside of the capital, Phnom Penh, because it was run
by the Malaysian mafia. He did get his way with another
difficult location, Bokor Hill Station, which required the
production to rebuild a road and the crew to be mindful of
venomous snakes, tigers, wild elephants, and land mines.
Shooting was as gruelling as anticipated. There were several
cases of dysentery, and some of the crew passed out from heat
COMMENTS FROM STELLAN:
Working conditions: "It was very hard
work. Long days in terrible heat and in a
country almost without infrastructure. We
had a lot of people just falling over from
heat stroke and driven to hospital. Great
fun though and very interesting. We had
tigers on the set one morning....
Cambodia: It is
definitely the poorest country I ever
visited. They have had constant war since
the US invasion and the toppling of prince
Sihanouk, which later led to the victory of
the red Khymers and the horrible
slaughtering of a big part of the population
and total obliteration of all intellectuals.
There was some shooting going on in Phnom
Penh just months before we arrived and the
producers had different evacuation plans for
us in case the fighting would brake out
again. People were very friendly but you
could understand that there was an
experience of violence that easily could
lead to dangerous situations.
Family on location: In the beginning
of the shoot we lived in a brand new luxury
hotel in Phnom Penh which was absurd and
felt almost sickening considering the
enormous poverty on the street outside our
walls. My children also felt very bad about
it and also a little scared by the attention
they got as nobody was used to seeing such
small blond people. Later we moved to a
small town near the sea, Kampot, and there
we lived in a house and mixed with the
people. My children found friends and
suddenly the poverty got a human face and
became less scary to them even if the
unfairness in our unequal conditions still
The cast: Matt was fun to work with
and he actually managed to create a very
personal flavor in the film. Natasha I knew
from Ronin and it was nice to see her
again even if we didn’t play against each
other. Jimmy Caan, or The Dream as we called
him- and he himself- was a fun new
acquaintance and great to watch when he
worked. Later I met him again in Dogville
and still liked him. Depardieu is just as
you think he is - fun and a very
living presence on the set.
On his character: I just tried to
give him some helplessness and innocence in
his amoral life..
"It was chaos, but in the best sense. The noise level was phenomenal - car horns, motorbikes,
general street noise. When you were shooting, you were battling
with all this other noise. It was like being in a firing line.
We worked on the run. Hordes of people were watching every
scene." ...Natascha McElhone
"The mosquitoes were
as big as Buicks... Once I got there (referring to Bokor Hill
Station), I wanted to strangle Matt. They had to sweep for
land mines three times before you stepped out of the car." (Caan's
accommodations in nearby Kom Pot featured a bare lightbulb and a
malfunctioning air conditioner). ...James Caan
"Inherently I have an advantage being an actor, but that said,
I have a hard time gauging for me, figuring out how much I
should convey to them and how much they know. I don't want to be
a director who over-communicates with actors because I know I
don't like it. At the same time, I want to be clear. So when
Stellan Skarsgård was doing
an interview he said, 'Usually I don't like it when directors say
too much. I usually like a director to shut up. Well, Matt didn't
shut up. But I liked what he had to say.' I thought that's good.
That's all you can hope for... Stellan is wonderful. So inventive. There's a scene where he and
James Caan and another character are getting massages in a bar,
and Stellan said to me between takes, 'I think my character
enjoys getting massaged. But I take no pleasure in it.'"