HOLDING THE MAN

★★

Starring Ryan Corr, Craig Stott, Sarah Snook, Lee Cormie, PiaGrace Moon
Directed by Neil Armfield
2016 / 127 Minutes / Strand Releasing

This movie did not work. It’s unfortunate because it’s such an important story and subject that could have been told so much better and with more feeling and emotion… I felt nothing! I’m going to have to put 100% of the blame for this attempt on the director. It’s a mess of a movie. I am all for non-linear storytelling, but it has to be done right and there are some many important things that have to be taken into account for it to work. Such as… the lead performers appearance needs to drastically change if your going to bounce around time so much. I spent so half the movie wondering at what point we were in. Yes they look different from when they were in high school, but come on they did not look like teenagers, they looked like adults with longer hair. Casting younger versions of the leads could have solved some of the problems here. Also, if you’re going to jump ahead so far… then finish telling the story! An example is when the film takes us from high school age to adult, I felt like there was so much more that should have been shown, instead it was just BAM… 20 years later… what the hell??? They just ran away from home! What happened in those years you just skipped over! I thought they left home? Did they go back? What happened at school? Are they homeless now? Why am I asking these questions 30 minutes into a movie! Maybe I’m being picky, but I was very frustrated with the storytelling and structure of this film and it deserved to be told right.

The novel that this is based on, I have not read, but after seeing this I can tell that it deserved a much better film. It needed to delve more into this couple and really give us the raw story and not leave so much out! Where were the fun moments in this? Instead we just go from problem to problem to problem. How about some time with these characters to really establish their love for each other. There’s no emotion here and I felt nothing by the end. Shouldn’t I be tearing up? No, because I don’t feel like I got to know these characters enough to care. This movie made me angry, this should have been better!!!

Grade D+

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