Monday, August 02, 2010

After the Waterfall

I was disappointed in After the Waterfall even though my reasons for going (centred around seeing Antony Starr in something other than Outrageous Fortune and also trying to be support New Zealand movies in general) weren't that compelling in terms of guaranteeing a good watching experience.

In fact, Antony did an awesome acting job and the Waitakeres and West Auckland looked wonderful but the film's premise was too slim. It's the story of a man whose four-year-old daughter disappears while he's minding her and she isn't found. As is often the case, the loss of their child destroys his marriage and almost destroys his ability to relate to anyone else. Eventually he emerges from his dark night of the soul and recovery looks possible.

The director was at the screening and she explained that the film is based on a novel and what appealed to her about the story was the lack of closure; that sometimes (often, even) in life we don't know what happened or why it happened and she wanted to explore that. Now, in lots of ways I agree with her - I think the media is obsessed with who or what to blame for untimely deaths, and it's full of stories of grieving parents campaigning about something to prevent others having a similar experience, because that seems to help them deal with their grief. And one of the refreshing things about Antony's character was a complete lack of that campaigning spirit. However, it really wasn't much fun watching his personal struggle, nor was it especially uplifting or edifying. So why would you want to? I'm not sure that you would, unless you just wanted your mind removed from your own issues.

Anne's rating 2/5

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