Lion is a powerful true story that brought the extremely talented Sunny Pawar to our screens. Sunny did a wonderful job carrying the beginning of the film, he has this natural presence that filled every single scene that he had. However, the first half of the film was extremely slow and there could have been other ways to show time passing than having those inter-texts popping up every so often, it really broke the flow. The second half picked up and was stronger with Dev Patel who held this film together. Dev Patel gave such an emotional performance and had great chemistry with Nicole Kidman who of course gave a moving performance. Dev Patel truly shined in this and he moved me to tears by moving his cursor over Google Earth, that’s how wonderful is performance was.
There were many problems with the structure of this film that really impacted the overall feel of this film. At times because of the editing I was taken out of the experience and thrown back in. The last 15 minutes were extremely emotional but it doesn’t make up for the how poor the pacing was for the entire film. I really wanted to like this as much as people have said that they loved it but the film as a whole is flawed. Dev and Sunny were its saving grace and it still wasn’t enough to pull on my heartstrings the way it has for others.
The Kennedy’s were considered a spectacle the moment they stepped foot into the White House. Every moment of their life was captured by cameras and manipulated by reporters. Every decision they made would make an impact on the Presidential legacy and somehow Larraín placed this immeasurable weight on Jackie’s shoulders from the beginning of this film. Larraín captured the darkness that filled Jackie and the White House effortlessly. He captured Jackie Kennedy in her most natural form. The score complemented the importance of the great demand for Jackie to perform a certain way after her husband’s death. Natalie Portman delivered a poignant performance as the darkness consumed her, it consumed her every thought and was guarded in her eyes. Portman was so in tune with her character that the soul of Jackie Kennedy radiated through her. If I could elaborate on her characterization in a character study I definitely would.
This film presents a side of the Kennedy’s that no one has ever attempted to show. Jackie Kennedy is one of the strongest women that has ever graced The White House and it is truly shown in this film. Larraín captures extremely intimate moments of Jackie that we could only imagine. Portman created many strong layers to Jackie but it was her delivery in the motorcar that truly stunned me. Perhaps it’s because the reenactment of the brutal assassination has never been filmed so clearly before but that moment broke me. That moment at the end of the film put the spectacle that were The Kennedy’s into perspective, that he first and foremost was a man, a father and a husband and that looming darkness that Jackie felt would stay with her forever.
Tom Ford is a visual artist. He fills the frame with such beautiful and vibrant pieces that will overwhelm you. This film is dark, cynical, twisted and painful to sit through because of the content and how well it is sewn together. Tom Ford truly delivers a piece of art that compliments A Single Man. I want him to continue making films because of how gifted a director and screenwriter he is.
First and foremost this cast is exceptional. Every single scene was so subtle and powerful that I was nervous for the majority of the film. The one that surprised me was Aaron Taylor Johnson, he had such a strong characterization that he absolutely terrified me. Also Jake Gyllenhaal deserves so much recognition for his work because he did an exceptional job in this film. I literally ask myself every single day where is Oscar is and I am always disappointed.
Ford chose to use a very choppy narrative in order for the character parallels to work. I found the story within a story quite interesting and the manuscript mirrored Susan’s life. This is how I would interpret the film as a whole considering it’s main theme was revenge. The ultimate revenge is what Edward served Susan after what she did to him. Every single scene was a puzzle piece that needed to be assembled by the end and yet there was still a piece missing physically and the audience had to add the final one to complete the puzzle. It is filled with symbolism that foreshadows the manuscript. It is an intricate piece that needs to be analyzed and understood by audiences.
Susan’s life was picked apart by Edward and that is why he dedicated this novel to her. I can give an in depth analysis of why Ford chose to use half naked women and why the colour red was so prominent in every scene and how Susan and Edward fading into each other is a genius way to create the illusion that they have had the other in mind. Their thoughts bleed into each other, their mind wanders to each other and they think about what they could have done differently.
I have already written too much but it is very difficult to write a review on this film without spoiling it. Jake Gyllenhaal is a brilliant actor and I adore this man, I just wish people would recognize how talented he is. Also, people need to see that
Denis Villeneuve is an exquisite, visionary director. He is one of the few who is able to challenge their audience with the execution of his films. Every single scene is placed in sequence for a reason, each movement is flawless and integral to unraveling the story. Arrival is possibly the best science fiction film that has ever been created because of how well the narrative is structured. The separate ideologies of science and language bleed into each other and both are effective as a whole. This film is deeply rooted in humanity and is relevant to where society is today.
Villeneuve created such a beautiful film, filled with experimental elements and unique compositions that truly left me speechless. He invents new ways to position the camera and fill the space with art. The story itself was brilliantly written and Amy Adams delivered a strong performance. There were many aspects of her character’s mind that filled the edges of the screen and the emotional connection to her humanity was felt.
I can go on and speak about the symbolism of the film but I do not have enough words to express how important this film is. The power of unity is the main theme of this film, among many other spiritual elements that exceed the science of humanity. Denis Villeneuve is a master of his craft, he deserves endless recognition for what he did with Arrival and I sure hope he gets it.