Could this movie be this year's "Arbitrage" for Richard Gere? While "Arbitrage" wasn't a perfect movie, Richard Gere still was surprisingly wonderful in it and it even earned him an Oscar nominated, which was well deserved in my opinion. This movie also has Oscar material written all over it. It's a drama, in which Richard Gere gets out of his comfort zone and plays an homeless man. But alright, let me stop teasing; No, Gere most definitely won't get an Oscar nomination for his role in this movie. The movie and the character Gere plays doesn't make enough of an impact.

While the movie still starts off pretty well and promising, it soon starts to turn into too much of a tedious one, that constantly keeps repeating itself with its story and isn't making enough progress with anything.

The movie doesn't really feature a story in the classic movie sense. It's more like an observation of a character who wanders around and tries to come to terms with himself and the situation that he's in. In a way it feels more like a documentary, which is typical for Oren Moverman's style of directing and the movie also isn't ever forcing the drama down your throat. It's also a movie in which the main character isn't ever saying all that much and the movie movie pretty much lets its scenes tell you the story. It works, in the sense that it makes the movie a well shot and even somewhat original one but it only works for so long though. After about an hour it starts to become apparent that the story isn't really going anywhere with anything and the movie keeps showing and telling you the same things over and over again, which obviously doesn't make this most compelling movie you could watch.

In my opinion the movie spends far too much time on the Richard Gere character struggles and how he tries to come to terms with himself. Yes, he's homeless and down on his luck, we get it, why doesn't the character though? It isn't until the last half hour of the movie that the character finally decides to change things around but it's all too late really. Not just for the character in the movie (come on, you know these type of movies are never going to end well) but also definitely for us as the viewers of it. I had definitely already lost interest at that point, not only in the movie itself but also most definitely the main character. The movie tries to keep- and tell things in a very subtle way but some more exposition definitely wouldn't have done any harm to this movie.

I still feel that the movie has plenty of value in it though. It does provide a pretty interesting and raw look into the everyday life and struggles of an homeless man, without really ever exaggerating anything or make things too (melo)dramatic to watch.It still never managed to grab me as well though and I must say I never even felt sorry for the Gere character, which again, was mostly due to the fact that the movie explains very little. Did he himself mess up? Did the system mess things up for him? Was he a victim of circumstances and is that something that could happen to all of us? I don't know, since the movie doesn't provide any answers to that, which at times makes it hard to feel any kind of emotions toward the character. Maybe it's true that the movie doesn't want you to judge its character and all it wants to do is provide an objective view but simple fact is that it makes the movie a too shallow and at times uninteresting one. It really isn't the type of movie that ever hits you hard with any of its themes or scenes. It actually feels like a forgettable movie instead, that probably will do well at the festival circuit because of its concept, style and people involved with it but it's really not an effective enough movie for me to call it a great and recommendable one.

Just never effective or interesting enough as a movie, that's what it all comes down to eventually unfortunately.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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