On the Silver Screen

Mar 21, 2014 | Posted by in Movies
First movie roundup post, easing into it with only one film (also happens to be a week where I only wanted to see one film). There should be a midweek review of Captain America: The Winter Soldier but for now here’s the first of -hopefully- many posts about my cinema exploits.
A Long Way Down
A story about four people who want to commit suicide is always going to be a dodgy subject to put onto film, as far as subject matter goes it’s something that everyone will have an opinion on one way or another and therefore it should be handled delicately.
The trailer for this film suggested an entertaining romp about four people finding in each other a reason to keep going, unfortunately the film itself is very far removed from that. The story follows four people who happen to find themselves on the same roof at the same time one New Year’s Eve intending to kill themselves, seeing other people seems to kill the mood and they opt not to go through with it, instead deciding to make a pact to not do anything until Valentine’s Day.

What follows is a fairly muddled and unfocussed story that details the events of their lives – both together and separately. For a few minutes of screen  time they try to get famous for telling their own story which ends in disaster, for another few minutes they have an awkward holiday together etc. The main problem is that the film seems to be going through the motions, trying for cheap laughs and the odd emotional appeal. Not being familiar with Nick Hornby’s novel I’m unsure if this is the sin of the source material or if the film is just a poor adaptation.

It is not altogether without merit however. The absolute highlight of the film centers around Toni Colette’s character tending to her handicapped son, this sequence is both compelling and moving showing us shades of real potential within this story. If the film spent more time showing these four people connecting and really allowing us to get inside their lives like in that particular sequence then this could have been something really special, instead what we have is a bland experience with an excellent yet wasted cast that can’t quite decide what film it would like to be.

That’s it for my cinema visit this week but more will be coming soon. I recently had my review of the Veronica Mars movie uploaded to my friend Adam Mulgrew’s site, follow the link to check that out as well as the rakes of content on that site.