Friday, February 11, 2011

A new view

I went to see Rabbit Hole last night at the Sheffield Showroom. The film was about a couple grieving after the accidental death of their 4 year old son. When I told the family I was going to see it, they said “Why would anyone want to go and see anything so miserable?” which is possibly why my friend and I were the only ones in the cinema.

But the film did not make me cry. Nor did it move me. I was watching the characters and not engaged in their drama. And I came away wondering if that was what the writer intended.  And if so, why?

It was an interesting view of bereavement and grief, and an exploration of the loneliness and the damage it can do to relationships. My problem with the film may have been the lack of grit and earthiness. The people were beautiful and their house was beautiful. And everything was so clean. It didn’t feel real. Their glossy life put distance between them and me.  There was baking in the film and there was gardening, but there was no convincing earthiness. Was that why I didn’t feel engaged? Or was it because their four year old son did not appear apart from a  2 second video clip on a mobile phone?  I have a lot of questions.

Seeing films these days is rather different for me from how it used to be. If the film does not emotionally engage me, or inspire me or make me laugh, I can still get something out of it by thinking about it from a writerly point of view, and considering what does and doesn’t work. I don’t think this film worked – at least, it did not work for me.

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