Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Sea (2013) Film Review
Reviewed by: Scott Macdonald
Max (Ciaran Hinds) is a recently bereaved borderline-alcoholic art scholar who is revisiting the seaside village where he spent his summers as a boy. The reasons are initially unexplained, but become clear. He rents a room in a house - the same house where the young Max befriended a wealthy family.
The film is a dual narrative, of the middle-aged Max and his youthful memories. Early on, it promises revelations. It uses some effective cross-cutting - letting Max's residual memories seep into the current day narrative. The house is full of these memories, with frequent slips of old Max reliving his past.
The film divines a decent visual strategy: Max's teenage memories are full of golden colours with his burgeoning sexuality coming to the fore; the present is leaden, gloomy and dark, driven by guilt whose true nature is only revealed near the end.
For all its visual skill and mostly good performances, this is a tiresome, dull film. The narrative is achingly and pointlessly still. Screenwriter John Banville adapts his own award-winning novel but seems to forget that internal conflict is hard to adapt to the cinema, leading to mystifying leaps of character - and ultimately, we simply aren't invited to care. The film is all set-up and the pay-off is thin. "The past is the past. You can't go back to it." It was hardly worth telling.
Not even a cheerfully plummy Rufus Sewell as the wealthy and philandering father makes it worth watching.Reviewed on: 23 Jun 2013