Cineaste ReviewDecember 20 2011 at 9:58 AM
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Response to In The Eye of the Beholder - HICKEY & BOGGS
I think your thoughts about this review are very accurate. To state that "Hickey and Boggs" promotes misogyny, when in reality, both characters still obviously have strong feelings for their ex-wives, and treat the woman who hires them well, shows that the reviewer is a little clueless about what perhaps the word actually means. Sharrett has an unusual capacity to see deeply at times, and yet also has superficial analyses of the complexity of the movie. For example, after us seeing Boggs longingly watching his wife, and Hickey being devastated at the death of his wife (which almost guarantees he'll never be able to see his daughter again), to say the men are misogynists is clearly bizarre. I thought it was obvious to all thoughtful viewers that the use of vulgarities in the scene in the bar was simply a desperate and dependent Boggs trying anything he could to shake Hickey out of his gloom and get his help in finishing the case, which Boggs cannot do on his own.
I absolutely never saw the homophobia in that scene of the man watching the children, and I've seen the movie three times. As you state, that critique had to come from inside Sharrett as it certainly didn't come from the film.
I also do not see Hickey and Boggs in any type of "romance"; they are friends, and put up with each other because, simply, neither has anyone else in life. Culp plays the part of the more vulnerable man requiring a stronger partner, which is a theme he used in "I Spy" and in "TGAH". But, I did not see the "bromance" of recent years as both men simply don't have the will or motivation for that type of relationship. As I see it they are together simply because they have been together and it was easier working together than breaking up their partnership. I don't see their walking off together at the end as "love shared by two men"; in fact, we see Boggs stumbling after Hickey, always willing and wanting to follow Hickey's lead, not out of love, but out of his being nearly helpless on his own.
So, yeah, I had a very different interpretation in major areas than Mr. Sharrett.