Sunday, March 8, 2015

Ariel Review

I knew absolutely nothing about the film Ariel or the director behind it, Aki Kaurismaki, except for a quick synopsis of the plot, which when taken on face value reads pretty dark and dramatic. First a man has to deal with the suicide of his father, and then he is framed for a crime he didn't commit. I figured I was sitting down to a world of somber situations, single tears and deep, meaningful reflections on what it truly means to be free.

Somber, yes, but in a strangely lifeless, realistic, somewhat humorous way. The tone of the film really caught me off guard, as I expected a cold atmosphere but one that was dripping in emotional resonance. Ariel is just cold, and part of my problem is that rather than adapting to what I was seeing and appreciating it for what it is, I ended up feeling just as apathetic as the characters depicted and the story being portrayed. 

I admire the fact that this is obviously a well made film, and I am sure there is some depth to be extracted in the future with a clear mind and a different perspective, but for now the whole thing felt like a tightrope walk between intriguingly different and flat out boring. The good news is, while I wobbled frequently, I made it through without falling off thanks to the craft of talented people and a strange curiosity of what would happen next. 

Now what I know what to expect, I'm sure a revisit or a journey through the other work of Kaurismaki would prove to be more rewarding.


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