Saturday, December 25, 2021

Two Paragraph Review: The Power of the Dog (2021)


"Aren't these mountains of New Zealand beautiful", thought Jane Campion at some point. She must have thought this because they are ever-present in her latest film, The Power of the Dog. They are imposing, barren, and almost one with the cold, distant skies above. Yes, they are very beautiful, but this feeling quickly veins along with the rest of the film. It too offers a big promise, followed by a very modest final delivery, which is unnecessarily long and slow, hopefully not so that it tries to impose some sense of artificial depth and relevance.

The Power of the Dog is at its core a very straightforward story about suffering, pride, and hidden desires. However, the movie tells that story in a form that is laden with long, long shots of mountains and hills, all of which quickly wind up without any impact on the viewers. As Nomadland shows, it's hard to use the US landscape as a character, even with more poignant movies (but still somehow very detached ones). Something similar happens with the characters and their hermetic worldviews and emotional states. All is clear and understandable in a rational sense, but feelings have no place in those barren hills, both on-screen and with the audience. Too long, too shallow, and too self-important, that is The Power of the Dog.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Starter Marriage - Romantic Comedy with a Twist!


There are plenty of romantic comedies that deal with the topic of marriage in some shape or form. But, The Starter Marriage is a movie that takes this broad concept and gives it a very fun and engaging twist. The movie begins with a young man and a young woman, both in their 20s, deciding to get married but as a form of "starter" relationship. In this marriage, which is supposed to last only 12 months, they will both be free to make mistakes and catastrophic decisions that ruin marriages all of the time. This way, they would be ready for the real deal, later on, having experienced the worst of it all already. Check out the trailer for the film right here:

The Starter Marriage was directed by Arthur Muhammad and written by Matthew Tolbert. It comes with an interesting take on the issue of marriage, especially in the age when so many of these seem to end all around the world or fail at the very start. Its cast is well-chosen and clearly able to take on the whole weird marriage situation with both comedic effect and a level of groundedness.

However, there is also a nice and slowly building romantic note in all of it, which offers a glimpse into the true longing for love that both of these young main characters desire to find. All of this builds up into a fun viewing experience not just for couples but everyone who enjoys a solid rom-com. Find more about The Starter Marriage on its Facebook fan page and Instagram account, but also find where you can watch it right now on its official website!