I watched this movie because I heard great things about Saoirse Ronan's acting and the synopsis did sound very intriguing but was it really?
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Suzie (Saoirse Ronan) is murdered by her neighbour George Harvey (Stanley Tucci). As she watches in a place between Heaven and Earth, she is conflicted as to whether she wants revenge on her murderer or the healing of her family, whether she can let go and go to heaven or linger on in a place of 'inbetween', of nothing.
As I thought this film was more of a murder mystery, I was a bit stunned to know who the killer was quite early on, but this film is not that. It is a bit more playful in terms of telling us, the audience, but hiding it from the characters. In a way, the film isn't even about finding the killer at all, as to how we deal with death.
The film was a bit slow to start and whilst we all knew she would die, we were just waiting for that moment to happen. From that point on, it was pretty melodramatic, at times abstract (when Suzie meets a friend Holly and they have a crazy time) but mostly a bit messy.
For those who have little or no idea what this film is about, they will feel lost and maybe even bored. But keep watching. The end is worth waiting for. Undeniably, there is a lot of 'fluff' in the middle but there are some beautiful artistic imagery to help lift the moods and perhaps make you go 'wow'.
Personally, I really liked how the real world influenced Suzie's inbetween... if only they played on that a bit more, and perhaps even how Suzie's world influences the real world. THAT would've made a good film on its own.
But when it did get towards the climax, it was so tense you could not keep your eyes off and you froze in anticipation of what would happen next. What happens is unexpected, perhaps a bit subdued, but all ties into the message of the film. Perhaps that is why it doesn't follow conventional movie plots in how things happen, but does it in another way, with meaning.
Saoirse Ronan- Suzie
Mark Wahlberg- Jack
Rachel Weisz- Abigail
Susan Sarandon- Grandma Lynn
Stanley Tucci- George Harvey
Rose McIver- Lindsey
Saoirse Ronan is definitely an actress to watch. Having been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Atonement, she is already hot property and was sublime in 'Hanna'. Here, she does an emotional girl well, especially in the scene where she is trapped. There is also a great supporting cast.
The film dips into too many genres that it is hard to focus on one- is it a thriller/a drama/a mystery? Whilst there is a good setup and good potential, the film lacks in finding that balance and turns out a bit messy- but some good artistry and a tense ending might just be enough to keep people interested to hear what the message this film has to offer.