This film had been staring at me from the shelves of our local Blockbusters, and it looked like your typical empty-life-leads-to-journey-of-self-discovery movie. After watching it, I wouldn’t call it that.
Firstly, the movie title should drop the pluraliser. The movie is pretty much one long flashback, so much so that you forget it’s actually happening in modern times.
Essentially, it’s about Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) who leads a hedonistic, empty, materialistic existence as an actor (don’t they all?). The death of his childhood friend as well as his rejection from a film for being too old lead him to go to the beach, float poetically and fully clothed out to sea and remember his time growing up in a little British seaside town in the 70s.
This flashback of his teenagerhood is the bulk of the movie. It explores the story of why he eventually left the little seaside town.
At first, I thought it was based on a book because there is so much that isn’t said and so many unanswered questions (like, who exactly is Peggy Tickle anyway?). I thought it would all be clear if I read the source material, but alas. It was an original screenplay.
Perhaps it’s because the writer/director is a music video maker. I guess he’s too used to saying a lot in a short while by implying most of it. But we don’t really engage with the characters of music videos, now do we?
I won’t lie, this film got a tear or two out of me at the end. Perhaps I’m just weak to the effects of the sight of someone crying desperately to a moving soundtrack.
The final verdict? Give this one a skip. If you want a good movie about someone who goes back to their roots after being successful somewhere else, check out As It Is In Heaven.
My rating: 5
IMDb’s rating: 6.8
Directed by Baillie Walsh (Mirror, Mirror and music videos)
Starring Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Layer Cake, The Golden Compass)
Eve (Barbershop, xXx, her TV show Eve)
Claire Forlani (Mallrats, Meet Joe Black, Basquiat)
* The actors mentioned are merely the biggest names in the film, they certainly don’t have the most screen time. That would go to their younger counterparts. Except for Eve, she’s the housekeeper. The only black person in the movie is a housekeeper. Progressive, eh?