Audrey E., here….
Fresh off the wings of his most commercial movie to date, Pete’s Dragon (2016), Director David Lowery floats back to his Indie roots with the dreamy fantasy drama, ‘A Ghost Story.’ This ponderous portrait of life, loss and existence will undoubtedly make art enthusiasts coo over its alluring framework and vision, but for those anticipating an intensely haunting experience, be prepared for more mood than material. Time is of the essence in this story; the right state of mind and patience will reward you, that is, if you’re still alert before the leisurely picture reaches its point.
This mysterious film opens with an aloof couple, M (Rooney Mara) and C (Casey Affleck), cuddling on a couch in the late hours of the night, both discussing their anxieties about their upcoming move. M reveals she’s lived several places as a child, coping by always hiding small notes here and there. “They’re just things I wanted to remember,” M whispers to C, “so that if I ever wanted to go back, there’d be a piece of me there waiting.” Initially this seems like insignificant conversation, but after C tragically loses his life, then returns as a white-sheeted ghost to try and connect with his grieving wife, we discover this “piece” of M might hold more of the puzzle in place than we thought.
Told almost solely from the silent perspective of a trapped spirit, ‘A Ghost Story’ dawdles as it attempts to trickily answer the philosophical question of being and showcase the agonizingly slow passage of time. With scarce narrative, the movie gambles on an unusual slideshow of ghostly imagery, and it’s not until a drunken house guest shares his ideology on humanity that the true answers begin to unfold.
Hypnotizing you into a trance, whether it is a slumber or spell, ‘A Ghost Story‘ requires a certain kind of insight. Though intelligent, it’s frustratingly dreary, and though gorgeous, it’s tediously sluggish. It’s one of those films that delivers clarity and earns your respect in hindsight. It will plant a seed in the mind, anticipating expansion, and once the plant grows, you’re left reflecting on all of the elements and the subtle brilliance of everything.
‘A Ghost Story‘ is a peculiar delicacy that boggles the brain and challenges cinematic convention. Beneath the minimalistic surface lies an original ode to a more complex question of what it means to be alive.
Worth a look!