A Ghost Story 2017: The Most Existential Film in Recent Memory

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A Ghost Story 2017
A Ghost Story 2017: The Most Existential Film in Recent Memory
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A Ghost Story 2017

A Ghost Story is a 2017 American supernatural drama film written and directed by David Lowery. It stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, with supporting performances from Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky and Liz Franke, and follows the ghost of a deceased man who remains in the house he shared with his wife.

A Ghost Story 2017
A Ghost Story 2017 (Source: Red Carpet Refs)

Storyline: Resonating with vibrant memories and silent echoes of a shared life, the old house is somehow connected to “C”, a sensitive composer who is hesitant of leaving it, while his loving wife “M”, on the other hand, is keen on moving out, having an indecipherable but grim premonition of danger. Sadly, disaster soon strikes, and C’s untethered spectre which detaches from the lifeless body, rises from the mortician’s table, and in a swift decision, decides to linger in this dimension to faithfully follow the grieving M back to the old house. As silent as a shadow and as invisible as the air, C’s unappeasable phantom observes M’s denial and depression gradually turn to acceptance and even hope, as time unravels, moving forward through the decades. In this earth, man struggles to leave his legacy behind. Is this the way to immortality?

A Ghost Story 2017: The Most Existential Film in Recent Memory

This minimalist fantasy-drama by David Lowery portrays the journey of a deceased man’s ghost who returns to the home where he and his wife lived together up until his untimely and tragic death. To describe the ghost’s psychology in this journey might be giving away too much. The plot is straightforward but it addresses themes of human existence and eternity in a way that many big-budget films don’t even try.

A Ghost Story 2017
A Ghost Story 2017 (Source: Read the Spirit)

 

Check it out: December 2017 Drama Movies

The ghost’s simplistic form might seem odd or laughable at first. This was not the case with me. I found the ghost’s emergence and entry into the film to be seamless and thoroughly convincing. The narrative initially dissects local aspects of the plot, such as what type of relationship the man had with his wife and who he seemed to be as a person. Then it proceeds to become something much more ambitious- waxing philosophical on how we spend our time on Earth and what meaning, if any, we should hope to derive from it. The film’s augmentation in scope can be risky for a small, unpretentious work, but in the end, it resonates quite well.

As for the performances, everyone here is great but Rooney Mara is exceptionally understated here, not the least for the scene where she eats an entire pie in a moment of intense pain. She is able to convey the grave reality of mourning without ever resorting to histrionics or conventional acting displays. She is low-key and completely effective here, as is Casey Affleck who portrays the detached husband. They worked with director Lowery in the lesser film “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”, but here their collaboration reaches greater heights.

As simple as this ghost appears, there is never a dearth of sympathy or doubt about its presence. The film’s uses of long takes and pregnant silence create an unexpected degree of tension. It deploys a soundtrack that is alternately mournful and quirky. And for all the melancholy mood that pervades, there are discreet moments of humor, making for a bittersweet cinematic work of art. Strongly recommended.

(Author: PotassiumMan – imdb)

A Ghost Story 2017: A Bold, Powerful and Beautiful Film

A Ghost Story marks David Lowry’s return to cinema since his 2013 indie hit “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”. Telling the story of a young couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) who buy a home and plan to start a life together in it until tragedy strikes. The Man suddenly dies and leaves the wife to fend for herself and build a life in the house by herself instead of with the man she loves. All while she is going through this in reality, the Man begins to haunt the home in a classical white sheet donning way. Throughout the years of being trapped to haunt this home, The Ghost also has to witness the love of his past life continue on without him and experience the moments of life without him. It is a beautiful and heart wrenching film that delves deeper into what grief does to not only a person but to a ghost.

A Ghost Story 2017
A Ghost Story 2017 (Source: ZekeFilm)

Reviews: Marjorie Prime (2017)

Whether you believe in an after life or not, A Ghost Story isn’t worried about your beliefs. It plays out like a fantasy and that’s how it stays which really bodes well for it. It never reaches beyond what is happening with the Man and the Woman and, of course, the House (which becomes a character in and of itself). David Lowry does a great job at setting up a “what if” scenario that all you can do is ask yourself, “what would I do in this situation?” The scariest part of that is there is literally nothing you can do. That rationalization is probably scarier than most horror films out today.

The film itself is a very digestible 90 minutes which is of a perfect length for this film because it doesn’t go overboard and forget what it is. It’s a horror film that is light on scares but heavy on thoughts and brains. There’s no real scares. The big scare is putting yourself in the shoes of the ghost. What would you do if you had to witness your loved one go through grief and you couldn’t do anything about it? You couldn’t comfort them. You couldn’t hold them. You could just watch. What if the person you loved moved on from you? What if they forget you? These questions are what made A Ghost Story scary for me. The level of helplessness that the film portrays is horrifying enough to remind audiences that death is still scary.

Overall, the film is an experimental ghost story that shows Lowry in top form both as a writer and a director. The crass nature of reality is that death is lonely and he captures that perfectly. While many who take a look at the poster will certainly think that the film is just another horror movie trying to capitalize on some paranormal money, A Ghost Story is much more than that. It is beautiful to watch, heart wrenching to experience and an absolute delight cinematically.

(Author: trublu215 – imdb)

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