This was a film I wanted to see right from the first trailer. I had become interested in keeping an eye on Joel Edgerton after seeing him star alongside Tom Hardy in Warrior. After a look at his filmography, I realized I had seen him in small parts in Smokin’ Aces and the Star Wars Prequels.
Needless to say, I was intrigued to see his directorial debut. The film was released. I was busy with college, and I forgot about it. This Christmas I saw it for sale and remembered my interest in it.
My interest increased when I saw that Jason Bateman was also in it. I recently watched all of Arrested Development, and without delving too deeply into that, I loved it. So the promise of seeing him in something this serious encouraged my purchase of the film.
All that aside, the real star of the film is Rebecca Hall. I was surprised at first how much we were following her day to day experiences. The primary conflict of the film is the clash of personalities between Jason Bateman’s Simon and Joel Edgerton’sGordo, so after Rebecca Hall’s Robyn served as the instigator in their continued interactions, I figured we’d stick with the men.
That wasn’t the case. I thought it was a strange choice and the reason for the slow pacing, but as the film developed and we hear more of the men’s history together, I began to realize that following Robyn’s involvement in the standoff was actually genius.
We empathize with Robyn completely because she is just like us. We know what she knows. We see what she sees. We feel what she feels. I won’t give away how the story plays out because it has some great twists and turns.
My favourites from the film: Watching Jason Bateman playing a very serious role, but it was like a more serious Michael Bluth of Arrested Development. Rebecca Hall’s performance and the decision to tell the story from her perspective. The photography.
My less enjoyed parts of the film: The pacing early in the film was slow/inconsistent. The perspective wasn’t apparent to me early in the film. There were some unnecessary jump scares/misleads. Joel Edgerton’s performance was odd (I wouldn’t say it was bad. There was something about it that I felt was inconsistent)
My recommendation: Not for those looking for something fast paced or with high stakes. This film is a slow burn with very intimate, relationship based stakes. I wouldn’t even recommend it as a thriller, but more as a tense relationship drama with an air of mystery.