MIFF Review : Song To Song

Song to Song is one of those “arty” films where you need to be prepared for what you are about to sit through. It comes with all the A-Listers and an interesting story line. But it’s executed with long monotone, monologue voice-overs and a whole lot of wall touching. It’s beautiful and a wonderful story line that is nice to watch but sure is a hard one to sit through. So much so the audience sat in utter silence until the lights came on then laughed at how intense and long it was as they stretched and took in a deep breath. Those were the ones that hadn’t already ran away as quick as they could.

The story is based around 3 key characters, BV played by Ryan Gosling, Cook played by Michael Fassbender and Faye played by Rooney Mara. BV likes Faye but Faye is with Cook but Faye has fallen for BV. Cook is friends with BV and it all gets very, very complicated.

Cook is a music producer and tends to use people to get what he wants. Like the way he used BV for his music writing skills and gave him no credit. BV is a musician who could be very successful, but is grounded by his family, which he feels he needs to support. Faye is a musician who just can’t seem to find her place in the world until BV comes along.

Song to Song is directed and written by Terrence Malick who you’ll know from his “arty” work, The Tree of Life. He has a very alternative way of delivering a visual medium. It’s a blend of intense monologues with an array of visuals that seem to take you on a different journey. In the case of Song to Song Faye in particular tends to fiddle and feel a lot of walls and windows and handles in a way of expressing an emotion yet not through words. However even then hardly any of the words are spoken, it’s all done in a voice over.

Outstanding performances by the lead cast as they navigate their way through a series of scenes where all they do is walk around to feel something or look at one another. The dialogue isn’t important; it’s their expressions and movements that tell the story. Aside from the main cast you also have some great performances from Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchet.

Overall this is a hard film to watch for no other reason that it’s long and drawn out and all a bit mopey. There’s hardly any action and hardly any scenes that pull you in. You rather have a long-winded series of people touching things as their monologue about how sad or lost they are plays over. Not worth heading to the cinema for it, but if you want to really sink your teeth into something on a cold Sunday night, this is the one for you.

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