20 October 2008

Review: Rachel Getting Married

Genre: Drama (Biopic)

The sleeper-indie of this year-in-film, Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married is an unscrupulous little gem of a biography, that mixes the raw and rugged, hand-held cinematography that has become a bizarre sort of staple onto the makeshift "indie genre" unflinchingly with the blessed literacy of a finer, less "finders/keepers" cast and screenplay that tradition would find in the more "official" scenes of the stage/theater. Unshy about presenting the trying, moving, but still somehow stickingly contrived tragedy(es) of a family, as fractile as externally inspective, in the brash and determined style of the lingeringly up-close viewer (that plays hot and cold about 70-30 as also the semi-occluded, obtuse spectator), the film seeks to investigate the merits and demerits of lives lived under the burdens of a shared past. In so doing, it is not wholly successful, as its open ending feels just a bit out of place in such an otherwise meticulously appropriated screen-structure; but still it is remarkably adept at balancing and hitting on the dramatic and comedic high points of a comely, shapely rise-and-fall (without skimping on those equally important middle bits). And, aided by the ecelctic and dallyingly rambunctious musical soundtrack, the pin-tight editing - not one scene was exiguous - and the incredibly brilliant performance at its core - Ms. Hathaway, I knew you would realize your potential eventually! - Rachel Getting Married proves to be this year's most charming and engaging film to date.

Grade: A-; congratulations, Mr. Demme; if it be not too bold for me, let me say, welcome back.

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