Today I went to two movies. Not untypical. However, they were very different in message, genre, everything. The only thing they had in common was they were filmed, and had actors in them. And both in the English language I suppose, although in the first many of the accents were so heavy I’m not sure I understood everything.
The Selfish Giant:
is the first movie I saw. As you can see from this movie poster, it had incredible reviews and success at festivals. From the previews I saw, I knew the premise was one of the most depressing ideas I have ever heard of. Let’s just say it involves illegal child labor, mental illness in children, and poverty, to name a few. But I was so intrigued, I couldn’t resist. I often love depressing movies, so I felt like I could handle it if it was as well executed and really said something, even if that thing was bleak.
Well, I was with the movie for about the first twenty minutes. And then I got very very lost. I felt like the main character’s best friend was the one with the real story, while the main character was lolling about not actually doing much. I didn’t really understand the culture within the film’s world, which should’ve been set up in a way that I can understand it even if I’ve never experienced something close to it (that’s what films are for, right?). So I lost interest, almost completely. I actually thought about leaving which I have never done before. But I stuck it out.
Then the last twenty minutes happened. The third act of the film was absolute perfection. I won’t tell you what tragedy struck, but the main character’s emotional journey afterward for the last fifteen minutes of the film was so beautiful, and incredibly captured. I shed one tear. Haha.
When I left the theater, I was sad that the ending was so wonderful and I altogether did not enjoy the rest of the film. This is what we call a repetitive second act. Not enough was happening. It just kept showing the same concept happening on different days, over and over. No one was learning or growing for the middle hour of the movie.
So my conclusion was that if I had written that film, I would’ve pared down the first act, used maybe two of the scenes from the second act in my first act, then had the climax as the inciting incident to swing us into the second act. Then the movie would’ve been about the main character’s journey after the tragedy and how he overcame it, rather than an emotionless second act leading to this beautiful climax. My thoughts. Clearly, there are plenty of people who think the film is brilliant as it is.
Thor: The Dark World:
Can’t say too much about this since it’s not out in the States yet. But I will briefly say this: the twists are brilliant. I honestly did not see them coming at all, and that’s pretty rare. Also loved the character development of both Thor and Loki (although Loki’s could’ve been more!). Weaknesses: Natalie Portman’s dialogue. The humor I felt was sometimes uncharacteristic of certain characters.
But I did like it better than the first Thor movie. AND Asgard made me want to watch Lord of the Rings so badly it hurts!!