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Julian biggest struggles stems from unresolved issues with his mother an overbearing, uber-religious, controlling woman who'd rather see her daughter stay with an abusive husband than leave. Julian wants to be free of him demons but in order to do that the has to help others in his life be free as well. That is where the story lies. We are sometimes trapped by the past and need to complete before we can move on to live productive fuller lives.
Jada Pinkett Smith is an extremely emotional woman and movies like this can sometimes appear to be out of reach because there seems to be something missing. But that's not true. Everything that is right and true about this movie is right there on the surface. That's how Jada lives. Hiding nothing. This was a surprising gem one that should have garnered more notice.
I would be wary of various plot descriptions that attempt to capsulize this as a corporate-themed film because they actually do it a disservice. This is a story about a rigid, professional and successful corporate divorcee who meets a beautiful, free spirited (and married) woman who tries to broaden his narrow life. Paz Vega excellently plays the sexual and passionate love interest (as always). Along the way we see flashbacks of his troubled childhood, his constantly dysfunctional persona that torpedoes any chance of the viewer liking him, a violent and bizarre family, and a plethora of character inconsistencies.
(SLIGHT SPOILER): Several summaries I have read outline the consequences he faces in his career over the personal end, but this film is almost entirely about his personal life and shows nothing about his career outcome in the last third of the film. Once you figure out that whole plot disappears I think it helps you appreciate the film better.
The music mix is slightly abrupt and misplaced throughout the "discovery" or "suspense" scenes, but the constant character meltdowns past the 50 minute mark takes your mind off that anyway. The epiphany in the end felt meaningless to me, but that is where I recommend you immediately watch the two featurettes to get a better grasp on what they were trying to show. The making-of lasts 21 minutes and covers all aspects of production, and in an almost hi-def clarity.Read more ›
However, I must say that the style and rythm of the movie are excellent and it is perfectly paced. Although underlined with sex and violence (which are personal to the main character), the story is unusual and, simply for that, kudos to JPS for not directing another canned Hollywood product. Her directorial debut is quite remarkable, even if/because it is not mainstream.
Indeed, this film is not for everyone; it is sexually charged - but not shocking or uncomfortable by any means - and emotionally raw, and many viewers will not fare well with the mature,complex characters and issues.
I didn't know Jason Clarke before watching the film and I was very impressed by his intense and moving performance as Julian, a corporate player with complex personal issues, who goes through a few serious meltdowns after meeting a beautiful stranger who pretends to "free" him from the conventional "contracts" his life may be tied by. Paz Vega is gorgeous as usual, but I sincerely think she somehow missed her character Michael, the free-spirited jet-setting type of woman Julian falls for, and she did not ring true to me, even in the light of her own personal issues. I just did not get attached to her and found her sexual freedom a little overdone (the way she walks... seriously!), not very fresh.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this movie jason clarke is wonderful... good story line keeps you interestedPublished 9 months ago by Jennifer M. Allen
I watched this movie because I'm a fan of Jason Clarke, and because I wanted to see him in an intimate, complicated and sexy role. Handsome as well. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Ivylani H.