Writer: Syahida KamarudinWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Butterfly Effect”, “A Time To Kill”
Bitterness, regret, retribution and conviction - with such strong cinematic themes, it's more likely that you either hate this drama of love it, but not in between.
Acting-wise, Ashton Kutcher has given a competent performance as the quiet, torn Walter, a wrestler on the verge of breaking into the national team before he learns of his sister's brutal death. There is, however, some vagueness in Walter's personality, and you can't seem to determine whether it's a hit and miss from Kutcher, or from the story. However, Michelle Pfeiffer as Linda looks stunning in every scene that sometimes everybody else can't help but be overshadowed by her.
Plot-wise, it's a mixture between straight-up novelty and superficiality. There are times when you can really feel it in your heart and then there are scenes that are quite pretentious and instead of complementing the story, feel like a gist of the information for the audience. The part where Linda's son threw a rock at the dilapidated house is a straightforward tell-all, and was detached from the whole subtle presentation.
Though looking into the effects of personal loss in people's lives, it also slowly observes how outsiders perceive things - the lack of sensitivity, the simple understanding how things work when they aren't as easy as they look, and how sympathy is sometimes just a protocol (like how the psychiatrist makes it his habit to use the phrase "good stuff" in every single sentence). The film wishes to present you an invisible blanket, giving you warmth by saying that whether or not your misery has its conviction, there is always someone who would feel your pain and be there for you.
But in the end, it makes you question, for such a warm movie, with an ending that may be unpleasantly satisfying, why does it have to be shot in such a cold location and under such dark nuances?Cinema Online, 12 July 2009