I was skimming my Netflix this evening and ran across this film in the ‘new’ section called ‘Last Night‘. I had heard of it last year, but I think it was quite the sleeper at the box office, or it was a part of some indie Sundance, IFC project.
However, being that I did miss it when it opened I was able to check it out in my living room and it was surprisingly good. I am a big fan of dark dramas, especially foreign or English flicks. I wrote a blog a few weeks back about how I thought creative expression, whether music or art, or writing – for it to deliver its message completely and thoroughly, it needed to be done with the help of more than its primary medium of exposure. Meaning that in addition of good dialogue and story, you need great imagery, a great score, and excellent mode of delivery.
This movie is about a married couple that spends a weekend apart taking care of their normal vocations. The wife Joanna (Keira Knightley), a writer runs across an old flame (Alex) while having morning coffee and the husband Michael (Sam Worthington) has a business trip with an affectionate co-worker Laura (Eva Mendes).
Well without doing a movie review, because this is not what I’m doing here….basically the couples are littered with temptation with their amorous counter parts, and the film reflects their inner struggles to try to make reason of and resolve their flirtatious dilemma. All of this is flashing back and forth between both couples, as the night unfolds they walk the line of right and wrong, good and bad decisions, and tests their moral and obligatory vows.
Funny if you read my previous entry, it is all and totally relevant. Regardless, the movie is shot dark. The imagery and thought processing of mainly Joanna is great. You can see her struggle with the old flame Alex. Somewhere she says “Do you know how many times I have to consciously make a decision to not write you and to not make up reasons to see how and what you are doing?”. How often do people do that, and will admit that? Not often. But the reality of that situation is marked, and it’s those things that make desire along with not acting upon it very trifle some.
Although the story is obviously foreboding, it would not have been received to me as well with out the score. The music reminds me of a movie called Solaris (the American version). In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same composer. The sounds are contemplative, and somewhat depressing. Kind of like hearing a battle in the distance, where you know there is a lot of thought going on in the actors head, that they are struggling with what is right, and what their heart pushes them to want.
I won’t spoil the ending, other than the best stories that we pass on and sing about are not the ones that end well…but are those situations that inspire dramatic change and make us look inside of our own experiences, compare, relate and identify with. The ones where we can say to ourselves, “I know what that feels like, I understand that emotion, it reminded me of a time when…”
All of these elements above make any art form great, whether it’s small or big. It’s all about how you tell it, and you have to reach out to more than just one sense to do it. I want to hear the tones, I want to see the imagery, I want to be able to feel what the author was thinking and how he thought it.
It’s almost like seeing creativity in 4D. It’s something I don’t experience often. But when I do, it lands hard. This is how I want all of my music to be, well the projects in their entirety. And it makes putting them together much more difficult, but also much more rewarding when they do come across as planned.
So maybe give this film a whirl, one night when you are alone and have a few moments absent of distraction – I’d like to know if you get it too.