Director: Andrew Adamson
It might just have been me – but I didn’t see a lot of talk about this film after it was released. Oh, there was plenty beforehand – naturally. Kiwi book, Kiwi-born director returning from Hollywood to make the film, TV’s highest paid actor (at the time) coming down to this part of the world. The unknown newcomer, Xzannjah. A bit of music by Tim Finn – oh and if you didn’t get the reference to TV’s highest paid actor I meant Hugh Laurie. So lots of good press angles there.
And then the film came out. And nothing.
I had been pretty eager to see this – because I liked Lloyd Jones’ novel; the end of it just fell away, just drifted off toward disappointment, but right up until those final few pages I was held.
And then after the long, punishingly dull intro to this movie I knew – immediately – why I had not seen a whole lot of talk about this film after its release. Best just forget about it. You almost imagine the briefing to Kiwi critics: if you love it say so, if you don’t enjoy the free popcorn!
What a boring, slow, drawn out load of shit. Ponderous and lurching. And that’s just Hugh Laurie mugging and almost mincing. The film just has no spark. And that’s sad given the book – for whatever you might think of it – was so easy to engage with, was an easy read. This is a laborious watch.
I couldn’t do it. I gave up. Barely at the halfway mark I called time on this. And I never do that. It’s so easy to watch a DVD – to make it through. You pick up your Kindle or phone and scroll, you flick through the paper, you load the dishwasher, you take your eyes off the screen a bit but you keep the disc spinning. That’s easy.
But not this time. The easy part was pressing eject. I couldn’t give a fuck to see how this slow-death of a film meanders on.
I’d want my money back if I paid.
Nothing about it had the spark of the novel – it just felt like a doomed prospect. Clearly that was a big part in the delay between filming and release. Evidently it took a team of experts to try their best to disprove that old turd-polishing no-no. And they failed. Boy did they fail.
Talk about great expectations. Well, I guess they almost do…