Friday, June 10, 2022

The Score: Movie Review

An interesting film about nothing.
You know the old saying: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should? I never would have thought that a crime drama and a musical would make a good pairing, and I still don’t. Two criminals singing their way through a heist is as bizarre as it sounds. But at the same time, it is interesting. The music is really good and you keep thinking maybe something is going to happen eventually.   2021

Directed by: Malachi Smyth

Screenplay by: Malachie Smyth

Starring: Will Poulter, Johnny Flynn, Naomi Ackie, Lydia Wilson, Lucian Msamati

Two brothers – Mike (Johnny Flynn) and Troy (Will Poulter) who refer to themselves as brothers but presumably mean brothers in the crime partners sense rather than literal brothers, but regardless – hang out in a small, deserted café waiting for something. It’s not very clear since they talk in weird half-sentences and really don’t want to give the audience any information at all, but they’re small-time criminals waiting for their score, or waiting for their next job, or waiting for a fall-out from a previous job (most likely given available plot descriptions, but the movie doesn’t really seem to care what they’re waiting for).

While they’re waiting, Troy falls in love with the waitress Gloria (Naomie Ackie) and they sing a lot. Their interactions are stilted and very unlike normal human interactions, but the songs are good in an eerie and melodic kind of way and really convey their chemistry, that it’s very intriguing without anything actually happening. During the waiting, Mike gets increasingly agitated. And that’s about the extent of his character growth or background for the first hour and a half of the movie.

Nothing happens for most of the movie. It’s waiting and singing and waiting and singing, and that’s somehow more compelling than it actually sounds, but it’s also clear that this movie is only for the most patient of fans and people who would rather watch something different than watch a story that’s actually about something.

Unsurprisingly, this was a COVID production. Essentially one remote location with only three main actors. While we’re waiting and singing, a photographer shows up at the café, (Lucian Msamati) likes photographing “fleeting beauty” and spends his time observing Troy and Gloria falling in love. It definitely feels like the movie is setting us up for a story with a clear ending – and it is, but also that’s all it is. It’s setting us up for an ending. The final 10 minutes comes together really well and it really is an exact mix of crime drama, music and romance.

There’s something really poetic about The Score, but there’s also a whole lot of waiting and nothing to essentially give us a poem about doomed lovers.