Dustin Putman Overextends, Overcompensates in “‘The Counselor’ Review”
By Rochus Pomponius, Adjunct Critic
It is possible to try too hard, Dustin Putnam woefully demonstrates this in “The Counselor (2013).” His endless droning in an effort to explain the subject material ends up raising more questions than answers.
Less is more, but in this case, far less is still too much. In an attempt to sketch out his synopsis, he takes laborious care in setting up the premise and ends up undermining his objective in the process. It’s as if he is creating a scaffolding around his work in case the reader happens to fall climbing it. Unfortunately, what they are left with is just more to climb.
Putman also tends to sub-reference… a lot. There are no less than ten referrals to previous works by the person being addressed. This not only dislodges the reader’s attention, but suggests he is more interested in their back-story than the story at hand.
Even his feeble attempts at humor fail to alleviate the mental burnout brought on by reading this turbulent tome.
Couple all that with unnecessary embellishment, overly-verbose character development and stilted transition, and you have a read that is as hard on the psyche as it is on the eyes. If Putman wishes to win back readers, his next effort needs to be more honed—or alternatively the audience warned, lest they get lost in his verbal scrapyard of overthought.