Thursday, 10 September 2015

Ten Thousand Saints (4/5, Good)

A coming-of-age drama led by the great Ethan Hawke and the now grown-up Asa Butterfield about a group of people living the chaos of the 1980s New York City.

Four people going through different phases in their lives. Four people that meet and try to live in the fast-pace rhythm of New York city. The city was changing: the end of the Cold War , the rise of the massive globalization, the beginning of grunge and alternative rock music. As the world go through those changes, these four characters have to cope and follow the wind of change. However change comes with hard challenges and that is what growing up is all about. 

This film from Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini is representative of their style: realistic, raw cinematography, crude music. Their documentary style clearly shines in this film wanting to tell not only a story but also to expose the reality of a changing urban landscape. New York has always been the symbol of urbanism and it is evolving constantly. The originality of the script of aligning New York's pace with the character's changes is a reminder for people to remember that they also are the consequence of their environment. We are vulnerable to it and we depend on it to build ourselves and show our true colours.

Ethan Hawke is simply genius. Playing a father's role like in Boyhood, he still achieves to feel curious about this progressive and hippie dad who named his son Jude after the Beatles' song. However this also highlights one of the weaknesses of the film: the characters are built upon the momentum and not on their life history. We know only the facette of the people at the specific moment of an ever-changing New York city. This gives less depth and complexity to the characters. Shame because the story context was perfect for that. Nevertheless it is still an enjoyable and good dramatic film to watch. It isn't a masterpiece but it isn't a bad movie either. It is simply a good film.

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