I didn’t know what to expect with this film. I went because I could and it had a fairly decent rating. I only had the flimsiest idea of what it was about, but sometimes films like this are the ones you enjoy most.
It is the story of a female Rock star who is adored and admired. She us set up as almost like a punk rock star of the 70’s, full of glam. She is re-cooperating in the sun after having surgery on her throat. She is with her partner and they are enjoying the time to themselves away from the public. They don’t need to get dressed, they can make love in the pool and take in the sun. They can enjoy all their time doing absolutely nothing.
This is interrupted by an old friend and his new 17 year old daughter. He was the rock stars lover and producer. He is a man full of energy and life. He is a man who cannot do anything by halves and lives to extremes. He takes drugs, alcohol, sex, Sun, money, people.. he has no shame. He speaks at a million miles and hour without taking a breath. Very few people get to talk when he is around. His new daughter, one that he only discovered a year ago is full of disdain, attitude and full of herself. There has clearly been some pain in her life.
The rock star has chosen the complete opposite to her former love. Her now boyfriend is very bland and full of melancholy. There is a great deal of tension between all of them. The rock star still wants to have fun, but knows that her old lovers fun is destructive and unkind.
There is a great deal of nudity both male and female. You see Ralph Feinnes completely naked and you see a great deal of Dakota Johnson. Tilda Swinton is seen topless on a great many occasions which is usual for her and Matthias Schoenaerts is also seen very scantily clad. This is a brave move as men are very rarely seen completely naked on film. There is a great deal of sexual tension between each character even father and daughter. Daughter has her eyes and claws ready for the rock stars melancholy filled man.
The film flows along for some time until the main event happens. Very little time is spent on this and its not very well thought out. This to me is such a shame because it could have made an average film into a very good one.
The performances keep the story going. Fiennes is brilliant as the former lover. He drives you mad with his energy. He is the kind of guy that walks into work all full of joy when the rest of you are struggling to keep awake. You do see a sad side to him, however, brought about by the unrequited love he still holds for his rock star.
Tilda Swinton can only speak through a whisper throughout the film. She still manages to perform very well and it adds to the pain she feels as she battles her feelings for her now lover and her former. She still yearns for the excitement but knows it could end her career.
Dakota Johnson is miscast as a teenage daughter. I have a feeling that we will see a great deal of her naked body from now on. I hope it doesn’t reduce her chances at good roles in film. You do not really see her acting talent until the end, which is a real shame.
Matthias Schoenaerts doesn’t have much to work with apart from a frown. He plays a very boring part. You never really reach the depths of why he is so melancholy. You learn how far the sadness takes him, but it is never truly explained or shown. Again you see his acting talent surface at the end.
The film needed to be shorter at the beginning which would have increased the tension. The event could have been developed further and could have really made for a good film. The performances are good, but the story doesn’t match.
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