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The 5 Best Deleted Scenes, The 10 Best Quotes & More From ‘The Counselor’

The Playlist By The Playlist Staff | The Playlist October 29, 2013 at 2:21PM

Yes, for a film that none of us wholeheartedly loved (and some of us vehemently disliked), we remain kind of fascinated with the Ridley Scott’s toxic morality cesspool that is “The Counselor." Or rather we should call it Cormac McCarthy’s “The Counselor” because he is probably the true author here, in the best sense of the word. Scott—who mostly shoots the script as is to the letter—is more like the vessel and filmmaker who processes it to the screen, rather than the auteur who birthed it. Such is the nature of faithfully adapting the works of Mr. Bleakness and Lack Of Humanity himself.
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The Counselor

4. Malkina & The Priest Get Personal
Yes, the Malkina and the Priest (Edgar Ramirez) scene in “The Counselor” is mostly intact. And it of course leaves a lot of people scratching their heads to why it’s included in the movie at all, but it’s got a lot to do with McCarthy’s twisted black humor. Not only is there no god or no faith that’s going to save anyone, but the she-devil herself drops by the apostles that worship just for a laugh. She essentially gets a kick out of teasing god, or at least his devout followers (which only underscores the fact that Malkina is the smartest person in this story). One exchange goes a little bit longer and reveals that Malkina is supposed to be Argentinian (apparently there’s a test cut of the movie out there with Diaz trying on an Argentinian cut, but it tested poorly and was nixed). Malkina also tries to mock and unnerve the priest further by asking if he ever had sex with girls (and boys) before he became a priest. Then later on, she toys with him further saying she had an incestuous relationship with her sister.

"You might say that it’s not really about sex but it is about sex. It’s always about sex."

MALKINA: But you don’t know, Suppose that I told you that I had sex with my sister. Would you believe that?
PRIEST: You really have to go now.
MALKINA: Because I did. We did it every night. As soon as the lights were out we were at it. We’d be falling asleep at our desks the next day at school. They didn’t know what was wrong with us. But that’s not the worst thing. Do you want to hear the worst thing? You might say that it’s not really about sex but it is about sex. It’s always about sex. Wait. Where are you going?

Of course this is when the horrified and angered priest pushes back the curtain and exits the confessional and the scene ends with her calling after him.

5. The extended Malkina Ending
After Malkina has Westray killed with the bolito (the beginnings of that scene can be seen here) she goes to talk to the Banker (called Escort in the script) played by Goran Visnjic, plots her exit strategy and tells him how she’s leaving London with her millions for China even though she can’t speak the language (again, in the script Malkina is Argentinian). But in the script, before she meets the Escort, she meets Lee, a 25 year old Chinese American. In a scene that’s almost four pages long, Malkina talks to Lee about what amounts to a lot of mumbo jumbo about encryption; ostensibly how to jack Westray’s money untraced. Frankly, it’s a pretty boring scene, would have given the audience absolutely nothing and its easy to see why it was nixed (we’d go as far to presume it was never shot).

6. The Diamond Jeweller’s Monologue
In the opening of the film, The Counselor goes to buy Laura a diamond ring in Amsterdam and and he gets in a long, philosophical conversation about diamonds which is actually a conversation about the value and its meaning (which of course, is foreshadowing because by the end of the movie, human life has zero value and life for the Counselor has lost all meaning). The diamond dealer is played by Swiss actor Bruno Ganz, known for playing Hitler in “Downfall” and starring in Wim Wenders' classic piece of ‘80s foreign cinema, "Wings of Desire.”

The conversation’s philosophical digression begins with the Jewish diaspora. “Every country that has driven out the Jews has suffered the same fate,” the jeweller says. How’s that the Counselor asks? The dealer doesn’t want to get into the conversation, but then is coaxed by the persuasive lawyer. It’s a monologue about the absences of culture via the absence of heroes, God and death. It’s best to leave this one intact and you can parse it yourself.

There is no culture save the Semitic culture. There. The last known culture before that was the Greek and there will be no culture after. Nothing. The heart of any culture is to be found in the nature of the hero. Who is that man who is revered? In the western world it is the man of God. From Moses to Christ. The prophet. The penitent. Such a figure is unknown to the Greeks. Unheard-of. Unimaginable. Because you can only have a man of God, not a man of gods. And this God is the God of the Jewish people. There is no other god. We see the figure of him—what is the word? Purloined. Purloined in the West. How do you steal a God? He is immovable. The Jew beholds his tormentor dressed in the vestments of his own ancient culture. Everything bears a strange familiarity. But the fit is always poor and the hands are always bloody. That coat. Didn’t that belong to Uncle Chaim? What about the shoes?

Enough. I see you look. No more philosophy. The stones themselves have their own view of things. Perhaps they are not so silent as you think. They were piped up out of the earth in a time before any witness was, but they are here. Now. Who shall be their witness? We.

Other notable scenes? Not that many that we can recall and as we said, some that are just longer on the page, including the one with the Toby Kebbell cameo, but the important meat of that scene—to convey that the Counselor is a sore loser—is intact on the screen. There is a brief scene where Laura calls Malkina on the phone after they’ve first met, but it basically amounts to another warning about “being careful what you wish for,” and again, people are warned over and over again in this movie so it’s easy to see why this was omitted.

This article is related to: The Counselor, Cormac McCarthy, Features, Feature


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