The title comes from a scene in Redsi : "independent" Portland housewife of no intrinsic value and no particular import wants her (first) lover outside of marriage to tell her "what she should go as". With him to New York, that is. Because she's a woman, and she can't just go, she has to go as something. So he proposes she goes as a turkey, seeing how Thanksgiving is close.
Jack Nicholson roars in full forceii, you've never seen a better O'Neill even back when that particular drunk was still crowding the dirty, dingy streets of the village with his very own unwholesome presence. Yet his part makes absolutely zero sense, it ties into nothing, barely hanging together with the rest of the script through the services of some very dubious glue. Then suddenly an end-of-the-world finale to it, as if Warren Beatty in his capacity as a screenwriter is actually as inept as he is in his capacity as a "public thinker" or whatever you use for intellectual in this language.
Not that any of those considerations matter from his perspective anyway. The entire production functions principally as a means to play the International, which I guess may be excused as childish narcissism and pubescent gender confusion manifesting jointly in a sort of neurotic attempt to be an equivalent to Leni Riefenstahl, except for the part where Triumph des Willens managed in a little under two hours, which was excessive. Three hours and a quarter filled with this pointless drivel are indefensible.
No doubt unintentionally the film does manage to provide a scathing indictment of the core stupidity of all socialism, communism and in general imbecilitarianism. The two free thinking, liberty loving revolutionaries fall in love and get married. In secret. Because they are too ashamed to tell their friends. So here you have two muppets, they don't care what the state tells them to do, they don't care what the church tells them to do, or tradition or public opinion or whatever else. But they do care what their friends would think. Because that's so very very different. Really.
Later on, the two love birds end up separated. Apparently she's worth enough consideration for him to keep hopping up and down about sending her cables, ending up in prison in Finland and so forth. He's worth enough consideration for her to end up going across some white wilderness on uneven skis. And yet, and yet he needs some hag to translate for him what she's answered or not answered and how it all goes. It boggles the mind, literally. If they're that close why and how could there be a third party with even a glimmer of a twinkle of a hope of understanding what they say to each other, and when ? And if they need a fucking priest to intermediate the communications with the god in other what relationship is this ?!
Half assed solutions, a game of play pretend. Switching tit for tat and claiming "revolution", that's socialism in nucet (and stupidity too, on the same bus ride). What does the capitalist provide ? some guy, some American "intellectual" wants to know at some point in this endless desert of arid stupidity. Order. That's what. And what if the workers could be organised, there'd be no need of the capitalist! Of course not. Except the entire thing is a circular construction, if we had water falling from the sky we wouldn't need to bother drilling a well, would we ? No, we wouldn't. We would be stuck waiting for the water falling from the sky however, which historically doesn't work out too well. If we somehow managed to create order out of thin air we wouldn't need the capital to organise things for us and create order that way. And if jacking off sated hunger too how happy Diogene'd be!
To me Reds functions as a parody. Unintentional, it's true, but for that reason even more amusing.———