Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: A Life


 It's a little slow to get going, honestly. The early dialogue is impossible without subtitles, and little happens with the plot; it's mostly some kind of study on basic bodily functions. Not sure what the director was going for here, and the plot device of "parents" and their largely inexplicable attachment to this character is perplexing and not entirely believable.


After a while, the character begins to do more, but its dialogue becomes peppered with "like" and "whatever" to the point of irritation. Much of the action in this segment takes place in a large building full of similarly odd characters divided into groups of twenty-five or thirty, who don't seem to be enjoying being there very much. Is it a prison movie? Not sure.

Then, in a cinematic master stroke, the director shows us this character becoming more and more like the "parents" from the beginning of the film. Despite some fairly predictable rom/com scenes and an improvement in costume, the statement that's made about circularity and fate more than offsets the feeling that we've seen all this before. 

Finally, this film borrows heavily from improvisational theater and European sensibilities as the character falls into decrepitude and foolishness. The dialogue once again becomes rambling and incoherent, and even the character no longer recognizes the rest of the cast, so how is the viewer to make any sense of it? 

In sum, I can't recommend this. While it has moments that seem to promise something, on the whole it is a mishmash, with a frustratingly ambiguous message. Two stars.

Bon Vivant/ Exis Ten, 2015, maximum distribution. Rated R, length 60-90 years. Stars Jennifer Connolly, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dwayne Johnson, Miley Cyrus, and features Sandra Bullock as a bag of stale candy. Rated 23% at Rotten Tomatoes.
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For Play It Again Toads. I used "review". 

 

6 comments:

hedgewitch said...

'..it's mostly some kind of study on basic bodily functions...' sure you're not talking about politics? This has me rolling. The language of review is mimicked perfectly, and the title is a stiletto-thrust--I shudder to think of how many stars my own horror film would get. I give this a thumbs up and a free box of popcorn on presentation of ID at the ticket window.

Sioux said...

Does some raven-haired beauty (now silver-haired) of a folk singer make an appearance?

Kerry O'Connor said...

Love your review. This sums up most viewing experiences for me these days. So many movies being made and nothing I'd give two hours of my life to watch.

Mama Zen said...

This is just priceless, Shay.

Gillena Cox said...

LOL; enjoyed your review process

Much love...

Margaret said...

Improvisational can be amazing... or it can be the worst! I think you have found a new career for yourself - you are good at these - make entertaining what isn't!!