Saturday 5 August 2017

Manchester by the Sea

“Where is this going ?” is my usual wail five minutes into any movie. I’m a pain to sit with. 
But half an hour into the movie Manchester by the Sea, written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan 2016, and I was still asking.

Casey Affleck was dragging his famous drawl through the script. His lack lustre body language, except when sprung into violent action, was in keeping with the drawl. He plays the part of a Boston janitor , a jack of all trades, who performs tasks as various as plumbing, electrics and shovelling snow. Of course there is going to be a disgruntled, rude tenant. And Casey/Lee is not renowned for keeping his cool.

So we have a character, dull of expression, dull of tone- until you press his buttons, and then wham!
It’s not that original. The sulky angry young man? Brando did it. James Dean did it. Ryan Gosling had a fair whack at it. John Osborn in 1956 staged it. 
SO, did I want to sit up to midnight to unravel the angsts of another angry young man?

And then there were the flashbacks, fairly persistent and disruptive. In truth, I’m not much into flash back. Give me a tale told straight. Linear - my preferred direction. I know it makes the viewer work harder, makes them have to scramble about…and, indeed, the story was so dull it was at least ... a diversion …

Well, to make a sad story short, I headed off to listen to my Pema Chodron tapes instead. A review of them to come on another day.

It's fair to say that I’m a prejudiced biased observer. I don’t need car chases, or swash buckling heroes, though I am partial to both. And, in spite of all the fishing scenes in the early screen shots, I failed to be hooked.

For a positive review read the link below. It did receive Oscars I think?
And I didn't, after all ,watch it to the bitter end.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen it, and I probably won't now! It sounds like it falls in the category of "life is too short"!