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SIMPATICO

About The Production
In adapting "Simpatico" for the screen, Warchus and Nicholls have skillfully preserved the poetry of Shepard's play, accentuating the rhythm and droll humor of its Pinter-esque dialogue. At the same time, the screenplay captures the subtle themes woven throughout the story.

Says Finney, "Matthew's and David's screenplay retained a lot of the poetic quality of the original play - not only in the beauty of the dialogue but also in the well-rounded, philosophical way the story deals with what has happened in the characters' past."

Says Warchus, "The theme that is central to Simpatico is the idea that life doesn't have to be a race between winners and losers. It's about finding your own identity. The characters in the story fall into two groups, the group who are trapped and poisoned by the notion of winning, losing and racing and the group who realize that you can detach from the chase and renew yourself if your like. Simpatico sets notions of revenge and stasis against mercy and progress."

The screenplay resonates with the tension between the two groups, amplified through the juxtaposition of the character's current desolation with their younger, hopeful counterparts in the flashbacks to California in the 1970s. in adapting the play for film, Warchus and Nicholls added the younger versions of the main characters, contrasting the friendship of young Carter, Vinnie and Rosie dramatically with the alienation of the adults. As the film progresses, the flashbacks add layers of tragedy to the story in their demonstration of the latent frailties of the characters and the inevitability of the disintegration of their friendship.

Nolte adds, "Matthew is committed to passion in his storytelling. As a director, he is committed to detail and adding layers to the performances and the material."

Likewise, the glamour of Churchill Downs and the magnificence of the thoroughbreds add another layer of texture by providing a sharp contrast to the corruptibility of the main characters. As youths, Vinnie, Carter and Rosie are ambitious for the kind of success they think will make them happy by freeing them from petty concerns. Far from being liberated, the characters as adults are bound to their past, haunted, and their wretchedness is contrasted with the majesty of the thoroughbreds ­ also in captivity ­ used as pawns throughout the story.

In the character of Simms/Ames, the film explores the perverse logic of fate. By ruining Simms' career in horseracing, Vinnie, Carter, and Rosie have freed Simms to find the happiness they cannot find in their own lives. Simms has overcome the past and discovered the true passion in his life ­ tracing bloodlines in horses.

Says Nolte, "Vinnie and Carter are basically aspects of the same heart. They are, of course, two different people, but the problem is how similar they are. Vinnie is a desperate, broken man, unable to love again because of something that has happened in the past. He is at a point where he can¹t tolerate the way his life has been. Carter is successful, but at heart, he is just as tormented by the past as Vinnie. Vinnie, Carter and Rosie all haven't been able to move beyond the circumstances that brought them to where they are now. They are all trapped, frozen in time. Only Simms has been able to move forward and leave the past behind him."

Finney adds, "As a result of their actions, something in Vinnie and Carter has soured, but my character is not burdened by the past. In<

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