Monday, February 3, 2014

Brightest Star: Movie Review


   


A meandering romantic drama about losing love and finding yourself.
“Brightest Star” is an indie romantic drama about the journey of winning back the love of your life versus finding yourself. The Boy (Chris Lowell) loved Charlotte (Rose McIver) and lost Charlotte, and now he’s lost himself and will do whatever it takes to get her back. That’s right, our lead character doesn’t have a name but every other main character does. If you haven’t figured it out yet, he doesn’t know himself very well. 2013

Directed by: Maggie Kiley

Screenplay by: Maggie Kiley and Matthew Mullen

Starring: Chris Lowell and Rose McIver

Photos courtesy of Gravitas Ventures.
Some of the early sequences are out of chronological order, and while it’s not difficult to figure out where we’re at, it doesn't give the film much structure. A lead character with no structure and a film with no structure gives very little for the audience to follow.

He (The Boy) was with Charlotte and now he’s not. The film seems to revel in its independence with many close-up shots of the characters deep in thought with nondescript music playing in the background. It’s a meandering tale of losing your first love and then finding yourself.

The over-arching element of the story is of the universe. The boy is a liberal arts grad but is really interested in astronomy and he wants the universe to guide him in making the right decisions. As he explains in the opening narration, you could say it does, but I really hoped he eventually figured out how stupid he was being. The whole physics/universe angle is starting to become greatly over-used in recent indie romantic dramas and comedies, so it just doesn’t feel all that fresh anymore.

The writing was decent and the acting was good, but there’s nothing to elevate the film to a higher level. The boy goes from meaningless job to meaningless job because he just doesn’t know what to do and it takes him a while to figure out how to win back Charlotte. I never understood why he wanted Charlotte back in the first place. We never got to know her and only saw her treat him terribly. But the point isn’t to get to know the characters. The point is that The Boy could be any boy, and every boy has a Charlotte. And every Charlotte is different except that they don’t love the boy anymore.

I needed “Brightest Star” to tell a more specific story. Preferably one where the boy wasn’t so clueless and didn’t need the universe to tell him what to do.