Saturday, October 15, 2011

Restless: Movie Review

 

A story about a boy who meets death, then a girl, and then love.

“Restless” is the story of a boy who is restless with the living side of life and a girl, also restless with the living side of life since she just wants to get on with her own impending death. Enoch (Henry Hopper) is more interested in death since death claimed the lives of his parents and the life he once knew. Annabel (Mia Wasikowska) is a terminally ill cancer patient and instead of fighting her illness, is content living her final days studying nature. Until they met each other.2011

Directed by: Gus van Sant

Screenplay by: Jason Lew

Starring: Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska, Schuyler Fisk and Ryo Kase

It’s a story of boy meets girl, if you will. Except, these are not conventional characters, so this is not a conventional love story. The son of Dennis Hopper looks like he just walked out of the Cleary Estate from “Wedding Crashers” (2005) as the misbegotten son with creepy obsessions. The problem with this type of character in a drama is that he isn’t endearing enough and he certainly isn’t there for us to laugh at. Annabel doesn’t hold her own life with much respect either (not that she has much choice with her terminal illness and all) but either way it’s hard for us to care about her all that much too.

The most sympathetic character was Elizabeth (Schuyler Fisk, daughter of Sissy Spacek), Annabel’s sister, who has no father, an inept, alcoholic mother who would be better off dead, and a dying sister who is perfectly happy with the finality of her life. I felt bad for her. The next most sympathetic character was Hiroshi (Ryo Kase). He was a ghost. If the film is starting to sound a little odd, that’s because it is.

I certainly applaud the film for creating such odd characters with odd responses to life as it goes on around them. But because the characters were so far removed from anything I know, it was a little hard to fully appreciate them. It’s still interesting enough and well written for those craving a small, independent movie about life, love and death.


Recommended:

Wake (2009) - A quirky romantic comedy criss-crossing genres with originality.

Want to find something better to rent?