There are some films which touch very sensitive topics, and most of the time it may be advisable to avoid such films. But, there comes a film which deals with a hard-to-digest-topic so unassumingly, the viewers will hardly notice that what they are seeing is something quite shocking. “Una” is one of these films, telling the story of Una, now a grown-up woman who recalls her past sexual relationship with a much older man when she was just thirteen. Directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn in the lead roles, this film, which is based on a theatrical play “Blackbird“, is an interesting account of a twisted relationship and “damaged” personalities. Beyond its uncomfortable subject matter, the film also offers a well-thought-out, even if “minimalist” plot, interesting cinematography and mesmerising performances.
“The Discovery” is a film which had its first premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2017, but, arguably, it deserves more attention than it eventually got. Here, Will (Jason Segel) and Isla (Rooney Mara) meet in the strangest of times. It has been scientifically proven that the afterlife does exist, and this fact alone spiralled millions of suicides around the world, with people almost desperate to “get to the other side”. The scientist Thomas Harbor (Robert Redford) is behind the new discovery, and he has another trick up his sleeve: he thinks he can also show what the afterlife looks like before people take their lives. After all, who would not want to look at a holiday brochure before committing to their holiday destination? Although the film’s narrative slops and the chemistry between Segel and Mara is lukewarm, the film is atmospheric, raises some fascinating issues, and has a strong ending.
“A Ghost Story” (2017) reunites director David Lowery with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. I gave a very high score to the director’s previous film “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” (2013), involving these actors, because it won me over with its embedded poeticism and creativity alone; see my review of “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints“here, and/or read a fair take on “A Ghost Story” by Film Blerg below:
Films about ghosts are usually scary, jumpy and spine-tingling. David Lowery’s latest feature, A Ghost Story, carefully avoids boxing itself within the horror genre by proving itself an elusive poem on topics as various as life and death, time and perception, and the purpose of human and universal existence. Without doubt, it is one of…
Synopsis: One year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified, millions around the world have ended their own lives in order to “get there”. A man and woman fall in love while coming to terms with their own tragic pasts and the true nature of the afterlife.
Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival2013, ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’ seems to have little going for it apart from its rising stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. However, behind the façade, there is a lot to be said about this film directed by virtually unknown David Lowery, and it soon warms its way to the Grant Jury Prize nomination, winning the Special Jury Award, as well as forming part of the International Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival 2013. With an unusual title – ‘Ain’t Them Bodies Saints’, the film is set in rural Texas and tells the story of a young couple, Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara) and Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck) who are engaged in a crime spree. When an altercation between the police and the couple results in Bob being sent to prison, Ruth vows to wait for him. However, his escape from custody sets people who care about Ruth and her daughter to do anything in their power to prevent the couple’s meeting, making Bob to choose between his love, promise and duty, and his family’s safety.
Said to be the final film of Steven Soderbergh (‘Ocean’s Eleven‘ (2001), ‘Contagion’ (2011)), ‘Side Effects’, at first glance, seems to have everything going for it: a great director, impressive cast and an interwoven story, promising a gripping thriller ahead. However, ultimately, ‘Side Effects’ demonstrates that even these attributes are sometimes insufficient to make a great movie. In ‘Side Effects’, a young woman, Emily (Rooney Mara), finally welcomes her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum), home after the latter has spent some time in prison. Finding herself unable to cope with her new routine, Emily, who also has a history of depression, becomes very melancholic, and is soon prescribed a new drug, Ablixa, to help maintain her mood. Her new psychiatrist, Dr Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) takes charge from her old psychiatrist, Dr Victoria Siebert, (Catherine Zeta-Jones), and promises to monitor Emily’s progress closely. Then, when Emily’s husband is brutally murdered at home, the new drug becomes the prime suspect.