Starring: Robert Pattinson, Emilie de Ravin, Pierce Brosnan, Ruby Jerins, and Chris Cooper. Directed by Allen Coulter.
Rated M (Mature themes, violence, sex scene and coarse language). 112 min.
This is a heady romance and drama movie that tells the story of a rebellious young man called Tyler (Robert Pattinson) who has an estranged relationship with his father (Pierce Brosnan) following the suicide of his older brother. The tragedy has separated father and son. By a twist of fate he meets Ally (Emilie de Ravin), whose mother was murdered when she was a child. Tyler finds comfort in his relationship with her. Ally’s love heals and inspires him, and he begins to fall in love with her. Their relationship is threatened, however, by his knowledge that he used Ally to recover from his brother’s death and to get back at Ally’s father (Chris Cooper), who had previously arrested him in a street-gang incident. He confesses his deception to Ally. She is hurt by his admission, and leaves him. Although Tyler intentionally looked for a relationship with Ally, he doesn’t quite know why he didn’t tell her. Events force him to own up, and the relationship between Tyler and Ally fractures.
Between movies, this film shows Robert Pattinson testing his acting ability. His rage boils over theatrically at times, but overall he acquits himself very well, and there is genuine chemistry between himself and Ally. Pierce Brosnan plays a complex role where murky things obviously happened that have affected his relationship with his son; he outacts Pattinson, but he has a cloudy, and colourful past to help him do that. There is an excellent performance by Ruby Jerins, who compellingly plays the part of Tyler’s beloved, younger sister, Caroline, with great sophistication and maturity.
The plot takes time to unwind. Tyler’s arrest by Ally’s father was unjustified, and Ally doesn’t know that. Most of the film is about the developing love relationship between Tyler and Ally with secrets between them. After the relationship breaks down, they come together again, and tragedy strikes. Towards the end, one needs to be on the look-out for the writing on the blackboard in Caroline’s classroom. It tells all.
The movie is erratic in style. It has an arresting and tense prologue and a highly emotional ending of a very different kind. If one can forgive the film’s now-and - again touch of Mills and Boon, with its heavy pattern of emotional coincidences, the movie will entertain teenagers who will come to see and enjoy Robert Pattinson in real-life romancing. Pattinson is perhaps known best to cinema audiences as Cedric Diggory in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, and as Edward Cullen in the Twilight series. Here, he brings an angry young man’s exuberance in mortal form to the role of Tyler, and infuses his role with a considerable degree of sexual magnetism.
This is clearly a film that keeps Pattinson before cinema audiences between his last Twilight movie and the next one (“The Eclipse). Despite some steamy sex scenes between Tyler and Ally, and the unfortunate and steady use of alcohol throughout, the conclusion to the movie carries considerable emotional punch that is conveyed well through the injection of quite unexpected events. Aspects of the movie will move many who go to see it, though the parts of it are predictably contrived.
Hoyts Out March 11, 2010
Hoyts Out March 11, 2010
Peter W. Sheehan is associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.