There is a different feeling to Cassandra's Dream that I couldn't quite identify at first. Something new for Woody Allen. I thought it was the English locale, but this was his third movie there. I finally figured out what it was: the score. I'm pretty sure this was his first film with new music scored for it, and by Philip Glass no less.
"I think it's a very moral play [or film]... about evil, about fate. I do think that the writing is very pessimistic. And all that stuff about life being a tragic experience."
"I think we make our own fate," Ewan McGregor says. "I believe that."
Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell are two sides of the same coin. They're both in need of help. But where Ewan wants to springboard a new career and love life, Colin needs to dig himself out of bad gambling debts. The themes of chance, luck and fate are all tightly interwoven so that the seemingly only window for freedom is the very means of entrapment.
Their uncle is the family benefactor who is always at hand to improve the lives of his family. And now, when they need him more than ever, he needs them as well to get himself out of some very serious trouble. It's a kind of Hitchcockian quid pro quo scenario.
But because Colin is the dark side of the force, his brooding undoes him. He is racked with guilt until he forces a confrontation, pitting the sides of the coin against each other.
This seems a companion piece to Match Point. It is tonally and thematically similar with the lighter, creamier Scoop sandwiched in the middle.