Thursday, January 26, 2012

Descendants

Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 26th January, 2012
Time : 115 minutes
Director : Alexander Payne; Writers : Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings; Music : Dondi Bastone
Starring : George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Mathew Lillard, Patricia Hastie, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer

George Clooney has a lot on his plate. His legal work, which he seems to take very seriously. His wife, who is in coma after a tragic speed boating accident. His younger daughter, who is in trouble at school and with some friends after some inappropriate remarks. His rebellious elder daughter, who’s in rehab, and doesn’t seem to enjoy being with the family. Some friends who turn out to be more his wife’s friends than his. And to top it all, he is a descendant of the Hawaiian royal family, the sole trustee of a large chunk of pristine land worth a fortune, and has to decide what to do with it while cousins with dollar signs in their eyes & the whole of Hawaii hover mercilessly around.
Its slow moving but what unfolds is a simple, touching, heart warming, histrionics free story. Lots to pick up on, if you read between the lines. What kind of upbringing do we want for our kids, what kind of inheritance do we want to leave for them ? How would we cope with betrayal ? Or loss ? How some women always remain daddy’s girl… Moments of humour are provided by the elder daughter’s Neandethral-esque boyfriend and the interactions with George’s father in law. The music is excellent, ethnic and enhances the film’s flavour.
I was transfixed by George Clooney. He seems to do such a wide variety of roles with ease, including being a pin up boy, a classic lead in the conventional sense. Yet he brings none of that to his persona when playing this very ordinary character, beset by ordinary problems. Barring of course the knotty land inheritance issue.
His elder daughter, played by Shailene, gets her part just right, 2 parts rebel, 2 parts concerned daughter and 1 part in need of comforting herself. The younger daughter is also able to cope with her character which needs cuteness, innocence and young adulthood in equal measure.
There is something charming about this film. Its about the common man, who has a shot at being very rich. About a husband who is wracked by guilt and betrayal within the cold embers of a dying marriage. About a father who is worried how he’s going to cope with two daughters. The last frame of the film was deeply reassuring for me. The way I would want it to be.

5 comments:

Aarthi said...

thanks for this review Apurv.
Looking forward to this movie

Apurv Nagpal said...

Let me know what you think ?

Anonymous said...

relationships,pain,anger,emotions,
betrayal...all handled with ease.

su-bhash said...

seen.a sensible approach to a sensitive issue.Would agree to ur rating n review as such.Wish u cud highlight the last forgiveness episode and the breathtaking beauty of landscape and houses /colonies.

"axeman" said...

loved the last line you wrote!

i loved the film... what a situation for a person to be.. brilliantly played out by clooney.

just saw the movie, was wondering what you thought about it.

i also liked the stupid boy with clooney's daughter.. played a great role i think.