What a… strange movie…
I waited a long time to finally watch this. I wont say it was bad. Definitely not an easy watch. Everything is so, almost accidentally connected, that im not quite sure what the resolution was.
It was a film directed by a guy you’ve probably never heard of, based on a book, by a guy you’ve probably never heard of, starring a lot of familiar faces, and produced by my guy Jake Gyllenhaal.
That being said, it wasn’t box office, smash hit. It probably appealed more to the indie gothic thriller crowd. I’m still trying to sort it out.
It’s based off a book of the same name, by Donald Ray Pollock, and the movie is narrated by the same man. Something about his slow, soft voice sort of fits the time frame. Matched with radio tunes from the 60’s. Along the backdrop of the Vietnam War. The whole thing felt very Stand by Me, but bigger, more adult. A weird, gritty sort of coming-of-age for Tom Holland’s character.
But don’t mistake this for some Lollypop, Cherry Cola 60’s story. This is anything but that. It is also very strange. And disappointingly incredible. The acting was superb, the atmosphere was gritty, and in truth, the director did an exceptional job.
On the surface, it all sort of feels pointless. If only he hadn’t sat at that particular bench at the diner counter, maybe none of this would have happened. But it’s not a story about what happened, so much as a story about who it happened to.