Meticulously crafted as it painstakingly tries to resolve past wounds which may heal but leaves a mark that becomes more overbearing!
The story of two men and fathers who were at the crossroads of their lives! Director and Writer Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) with Ben Coccio (Zero Day) and Darius Marder (Loot) tells another tale of heartbreaking proportions! The story asks how do you redeem yourself from your past mistakes and how does your situation in life bear the actual weight of your actions? As the film convey a powerful crime drama that allows three interlocked stories of conscience, morality and obligation to the people you love the most…your family!
I can’t help but to give enough praise on Derek’s works which does not only comply standards but it excels them as well! The delivery of his narrative, the poignancy and surreal atmosphere of different people making it as cohesive as possible to allow a free flowing and yet hand gripped emotion filled performances was commendable at all points! He lifts you up enough above the clouds where the quiet reserved transparency of subtleness in terms of the characters susceptibility in life was being undertaken while below it, you have this storm brewing attributed from the repercussions made by human judgment throwing everything into chaos which actually hides behind what is in store for the premise to take place!
Cinematography by Sean Bobbitt (The Killer Inside Me) collaborates with the Film Score which was produced by Mike Patton (Crank High Voltage) while the former gives his detail centric eyes in capturing the surroundings of Schenectady, New York, making the premise relatable as it conveys the actual back drop without the need for too much technicality involved. On the other hand, Mike releases his take on convulsing sweeping music from highspeed chases to quiet talks, in moments of reflecting dread or simple means of happiness.
THE BIKER WHO RODE THE LIGHTNING…
Broke and riding his “blues” away, Ryan Gosling (The Notebook) is a motorcycle driver / stuntman Luke Glanton. In the past few years Ryan had the same type of character roles that sees him as a struggling lover or father who does not have decent work or a job at all and still provides any way he can for his family whatever it takes…
He has also been classified to play these sober, troubled and cranky eponymous individuals who were hard luck in everything they touches! Speaking of the devil, as Eva Mendes (We Own the Night) who portrays Romina, a past flame who suddenly shows up at the carnival trying to settle unresolved issues that emits a light at Luke brighter than his sordid workplace! Their dynamic was easy to follow, as both carried their performances adjacent to a broken up family.
THE COP WHO CRASHED LIKE THUNDER…
Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Winner Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) as a low ranking Police Officer Avery Cross had only a short stint with Luke but was a very significant one! His wife Rose Byrne (I Love You Too) as Jennifer Cross, she had a minor role just enough to get her message across while her husband being a so-called hero was left with more questions with what he was trying to instil in law enforcement. For his intentions was clear until it found a brick wall to slam into!
Avery is a decent cop with high expectation and education to go with it. But he never got the chance to prove his worth due to bad influences and decision making which makes him an easy target for corruption. Bradley after having only a few but box-office worthy films got his official break in the award winning “Silver Linings Playbook”. The actor’s versatility again proved the public how much first impression can go a long way seeing that it can catapult anyone’s career once you know how to allocate your aces!
THE PLACE WHERE IT ALL COLLIDES…
With teenage rebellion and juvenile angst running amok in the later part of the film, bear in mind that with an all star cast, the last pieces of the puzzle were the ones who stole the thunder from their fathers! With lucrative films under his belt, Dane Dehaan (Lawless) the guy can really execute troubled childhood portrayals; basically he has been typecasted already but still gives out a breakthrough performance each and every single time! While his on-screen friend turned foe newcomer, Emory Cohen (Smash) was not a push over certifying that he can go toe-in-toe with the superstars of cinema to think that he has a very shortlisted credentials.
Playing the game as he always does, manipulative and malevolent! Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) as Senior Officer Peter Deluca, this is like a walk in the park for this guy! He has done these types of films hundreds of times and just thinking about villains who act as good guys, Tinsel Town does know where to get its prospects in their pipeline. While coming off from the recently released “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Bruce Greenwood (Hollywood Homicide) plays District Attorney Bill Killcullen who jumps on the bandwagon to compensate his personal needs providing his other services for the corrupt officers of the Police Department! They both play supporting casts but with clear objectives while making it as “short but sweet” (pun intended) as much as possible to relay to the audience.
I remember earlier young stars like Nick Stahl from the film “Bully” and those who had better luck in their career and job offers with the likes of Johnny Depp, Leonardo Di Caprio, Shia Labeouf, Paul Dano and Jesse Eisenberg who are all very talented actors of theirrespective generation!
They say that when the past catches up with you, all things that you have done will be reflected of who you are and the significant part of it is, we are a part of something bigger and it all begins with a stone’s throw in a pond called life! This is where the irony of intentions and the consequences that follows permeates on what you do as it ripples out and engulfs through all your daily experiences, it is just up to you on how you make this effect become your legacy!
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