Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Bad,2/5)

An already familiar tale told through the eyes of an unconfident and uninteresting teenager. A very strange film.

Another story of a teenager dying from a disease. Another foreseeable movie ending. The Fault in Our Stars rings a bell to you? We all know what is going to happen, however it is the trip to that ending that matters. Is it going to be moving? Is it going to be funny? Is it going to be dull? All those questions went through our head whilst watching this film. The film is very good at something: at being indecisive. It surely wanted to reflect the main character's personality of Greg, portrayed decently by Thomas Mann. At a first glance he has none but then it changes. Perhaps this is the strongest aspect of the film: while we discover a complexity and depth, the movie starts to be more mature in its focus and storytelling. That was pretty original. However it is a shame that the other characters (especially Earl) are deeply superficial. Even our dear Dying Girl (Olivia Cooke) does not make us feel sympathy or empathy. Simply nothing. That's a low point for a dramatic film.

Another strength of the film is in the technical part. Very fresh cinematography by Chung hoon Chung with a very special attention to colors. Also the music by the genius Brian Eno is an essential plus to it. A shame they are not able to save the film. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and screenwriter Jesse Andrews forgot to give a stronger personality to the characters and to the relationship between the Dying Girl and Greg. We observe it but we don't feel anything. There's definitely something wrong. It only starts to shine at the end. The end is definitely the best part (we would even dare to say that they made a whole film just to get to the well-done ending).
One the film ended, we did not understand the whole critical acclaim with this film. It has certain freshness and originality but lacks of soul. What is originality without a soul? Something forgettable. This is what this film is: easily forgettable. A shame because there were good ideas dancing around the camera but we left the cinema pretty indifferent. Our advice? Just watch the end, forget the rest.


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