It's been a while since I've written a film review (for obvious reasons!) but date night went down a storm last night at the cinema so here goes...
It looked like 'Old' was a perfect film for us: Beach scenes, a mysterious thriller, and an early finish! An all-star cast isn't always enjoyed, and big effects can get a bit wearing film after film, so how did 'Old' stack up? Here's my review, on the theme of mindfulness, the well being booster tactic, in the movie.
'Old' is one of those movies that you don't know if on brief reflection you really enjoyed. We both agreed we wouldn't watch it again, but mostly because we now knew the ending. The premise was interesting, probably better for being a book before the movie was made: A 'paradise' beach which ages people a year every 30 mins they're there. The tourists can't escape and, along with a rapid advancement of age - and in some cases of growing up a little too fast - a mini mental breakdown of some individuals does start to begin, which was interesting, especially the Instagram model who couldn't bear anyone seeing her age. The acting left a bit to be desired across the board really; the best actors were the teens Alex Wollf and Thomasin McKenzie.
My eyes stayed glued to the screen, and I really wanted to know how it ended. The best bits were when there was some real poignant moments in the relatable themes of aging, puberty and parenting. Just before the now blind father of the main character family dies of old age, he loses his memory but says the most lovely things to his wife he was previously on course for a divorce with, and questions why they ever wanted to leave the beach: "It's beautiful." It really spoke to me about mindfulness, enjoying the moment, and the value of being with who you love.
When Kara gives birth, I really felt quite emotional. I had my first child just two years ago, and, of course, the baby died less than a minute after it was born - one month is about a minute on the beach, and he died purely of neglect with not enough love, feed or sleep. This was very well done, and Kara really seems to grieve, even being so young and after only having been pregnant for maybe 30 mins and being a mum for less than 60 seconds! Mindfulness even featured here, in the rushed episode of motherhood, when Trent buries the baby with his own hands, in the sand. This must have felt cathartic, in a way, for the character.
I also loved when the adult version of Trent (the boy in the main family) suggests to his now adult older sister that they make some sandcastles before they go off together to try a desperate attempt of escape, one most likely to fail. This was beautiful, reminding us that they were still only six and nine (I estimate) in the 'real world', and it was a little emotional seeing them bond for perhaps one final time, again, being mindful in a moment. I'm a big fan of the 'M' word, you may have guessed. The sand's texture, the fun sandcastle building brings, the companionship... The sandcastles making was a clear nod to the original story by Pierre Oscar Levy too, was very thoughtful of the screenplay writers.
I have to say though, the Director M Night Shyamalan has produced some corkers before (e.g. The Sixth Sense), and sadly, this can't be counted as one of his greats. The execution was a bit ropey, and the end should have stopped at the twist, but I don't think even the pandemic can be blamed for that (it was filmed in 2020 on location). Also, there was no explanation why the famous guy wasn't aging or, in fact, more likely, dead, when the new arrivals find him at the beach. Goof?
In summary, I wouldn't avoid 'Old', but you won't miss much if you wait until it hits home viewing. It was good enough for date night and definitely provoked some thinking. How about a 7/10?
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Born to be a Tourist
I'm a writer based in South Wales, with an unhealthy obsession with stationery and baking. I mainly blog for my own sanity, but I'm also working on a novel. Still.