An emotional but very predictable drama
, 26 Sep 2013
A family is torn apart with grief when the eldest son is killed in a car crash. All the members of the family deal with the loss in different ways, alienating each other in the process. Things get even more complicated when a young woman turns up, pregnant with the dead sons child. For a lot of the time, The Greatest is a very depressing movie. Theres a lot of crying, or people on the verge of crying, or people trying their best not to cry, and that isnt the most pleasant viewing experience in the world. However, to give credit where credits due, writer/director Shana Feste has done a solid job of making it engaging and watchable. The subject matter is very interesting how do a mother and father cope when their son dies? How does a young boy cope without his older brother? How does a young woman cope without the love of her life? Feste does a very good job of portraying the different expressions of grief and, while its a bit depressing, its also a bit cathartic. Annoyingly though, the film starts to go a bit downhill in the final third. Theres a since of harsh reality in that first two-thirds, but it gets a bit hokey towards the end. The film is immediately predictable, which is tough to avoid. But rather than offer some surprises, the movie gives you exactly what you expected, and does it with a healthy dose of Hollywood-esque melodrama. Probably the most interesting character is Grace Brewer, played by Susan Sarandon. Obsessed with knowing every detail about her sons death, she seems to border on insanity at times. Ryan (Johnny Simmons) is also excellent as the younger brother, who is living in denial. It is a subtle performance from the young actor, and his eventual breakdown is one of the most emotional moments of the entire film. And then you have the big let-down and the big show-stealer. The let-down first: Pierce Brosnan. The guy makes a great 007, a great one. But here, he felt really out of place. Brosnan is a good actor, dont get me wrong, but he has an AWFUL American accent and just isnt emotive enough. And on the opposite end of the spectrum is Carey Mulligan, the show-stealer. I love watching this girl act; she is a fantastic actress who never seems to put a step wrong. While her character in the movie might not have a lot of depth, she still manages to breathe life into it. Her personal journey is the one I felt most attached to and, again, its predictable but interesting. The Greatest is a very typical independent movie. A strong cast with good performances, an unconventional story thats solidly told, but with a number of flaws that stops it from getting better commercial success. It does have enough to warrant a watch, though. You might even shed a tear or two.
- Was this review helpful to you?
(0) Yes |