You’d have to have been living under a rock (or at least to have some wicked expensive laptop issues like I’ve had), to have not heard about the controversial documentary The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, and the subsequent arrest of the film’s protagonist stemming from the new evidence unearthed during its filming.
Durst, a fully paid up member of one of the richest families in America went to trial in 2003 for the murder and dismemberment of Morris Black, after skipping bail and going on the run for a few months in 2001. He was acquitted of murder after claiming self defense. Obviously, everyone chose to ignore all of that actions of a guilty man, fugitive malarkey, and the fact he just cut up poor old Black’s cadaver like he was a barbecue platter.
He has since been arrested in connection with the murder of his friend Susan Berman, who was shot, execution style in her home in 2000, and has long been suspected of having a wee bit to do with the mysterious disappearance of his wife Kathy in 1982.
In the time since his arrest Robert Durst has since been implicated in three other murders, all young women, and all connected with him in some way over the years.
In Andrew Jareki’s documentary series, Durst’s apparent admission to killing all three was a sensational coup for the film maker, when, confronting his muse with new evidence, Durst seemingly forgets that he is still mic’d up, and while in the bathroom says the unforgettable line ‘ … Of course, I killed them all.’
I mean, come on! That is a finale that, though still feeling a little staged to me, is a perfect culmination of any true crime story.
There is, of course, a moral ambiguity to the way that the story is handled, and whether or not the filmmakers may have held back the important information that they possessed, for maximum impact to their series release, but who am I to judge the timing of the arrest of a murderer, to coincide so perfectly with a promotional dream?
The Robert Durst story truly has it all; murder, mystery, betrayal, love, passion, abuse, cross dressing, the mob, and a protagonist that is nothing short of mesmerising in his uniqueness. One has to hand it to Jarecki and his crew; they have created something that is truly memorable, that hopefully will bring some peace to the families of the victims; maybe even the discovery of a body in the sad case of the tragic Kathie Durst.
All Good Things is a film inspired by the story of Durst’s marriage to Kathie, the murder of Black and Berman, and speculates on the connection between the murders and the motivations behind them. Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst are stunning as the leads in a tragic and chilling tale of abuse and the affects of one man’s inability to connect with the world around him in a normal, healthy way.
The names are changed, and for those not aware of the real life events, some of the situations may seem far fetched, but the life of Robert Durst and his actions are more than a sprinkle of crazy, and the indulgent attitudes of the people around him have no doubt contributed to his dark descent.
Though not strictly a horror, All Good Things is a twisted tale, that is all the more chilling when you consider that after viewing the film, one of Durst’s only gripes about his character was the fact he killed his pet dog Igor in the movie, which he claimed he could never do. Not the violent abusive behavior displayed toward Dunst’s character, nor his part Gosling’s character played in her disappearance, but no, god forbid the bloke should be accused of harming an animal.
He’s an interesting guy, no?
The film is claustrophobic, beautifully acted, with a cast that is pretty spectacular in itself. Kristen Wiig proves that she is anything but a one trick comedy pony as Kathie’s friend Lauren, and Lily Rabe is wonderful as the complicated, ill fated Berman.
All Good Things is a fantastic watch, but this is mainly due to the compelling real life events that inspired its conception. The script is so so, and without the stellar casting, I feel the film would have been rather bland, as the scenes felt somewhat disjointed in parts. Without the powerful performances of the players, I think it would have been entirely without drama or tension.
Robert Durst’s story is an intriguing, disturbing tale, and I would recommend anyone to watch this film, and the HBO series that is truly a bizarre insight into how the other half lives.
The other half being rich, mentally ill, and very scary.