Johnny’s review published on Letterboxd:
A masterpiece of cinema, a touching story, and beautiful acting.
What was this film about? Why was it made? The easy answer is: the exploration of a person's life and an attempt to understand how one's experiences changes personality, while the undercurrent of one's natural state seems to be constant. The more complex answer would be about being gay (and black), about not being able to realize one's true self. About building invisible walls to protect oneself, but with a gentle fragility that ultimately pervades all actions. Hard to say...
The division between child, teen, and adult allowed for powerful themes to resounds throughout the film. I caught only a few of them. There are likely many many more, as this is the type of film that begs multiple essays to be written about the cinematic techniques (a good thing). The role of food as comfort and expression of reaching out, the colors (white, blue, red...what do they represent?), the overwhelming power and serenity of the ocean.
The shots may have been dizzying and perhaps a little surreal, especially the "talking but lips aren't moving" thing the movie sprung many times. But the movie executes so well that it has a Vertigo-esque quality. A bit on the magical realism, but since the whole movie seems to be a conceptual masterpiece, meaning can be wrought from any 'choice' the director made. |
There are problems with the movie, but I suspect these are personal problems specific to me. The third act seemed to lack the power of the first two, some shot choices seemed to stare the audience right in the face, and some parts seemed superfluous. Yet, if enough thought and respect is placed in, then one could read these choices as part of the effect of the movie. And boy, did the movie have an effect.