Friday, March 16, 2012

The Descendants - Movie Review

Heard good reviews of this George Clooney starrer and of its different story (based on a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings) and decided to see it. Clooney is Matt King, a hands-off father, a man with a rich inheritance in Hawaii, and the man who is the sole trustee to decide on a large estate of 25000 acres owned by him and his cousins. His seemingly calm and sedate life is turned upside down when his wife suddenly slips into coma in a water skiing accident and he is thrust into the new role of taking care of his two daughters, Alex (17) and Scottie (10) both at difficult ages. Matt discovers that his older daughter has turned completely hostile against his mother, not to mention into a fol mouthed alcoholic - and not without reason he discovers - his wife had been having an affair and Alex, his daughter, knew about that. Matt tries to find out with Alex's help who the mysterious lover of his wife was and he does - a real estate agent called Brian Speer. Matt decides to inform Brian that he could say his good bye as well, as they have decided to take his wife off the life support.

While all this is going on Matt's cousins are planning to seal the deal to develop the land through a local real estate developer Dan and come into some good fortune themselves. Matt almost agrees but he suddenly realises that Brian Speer is the brother in law of Don and he stands to gain from the deal. (He also realises after meeting Brian that Brian does not love his wife and is more interested in keeping his peace at home - why Matt thinks that the old lovers were having an all time great love story instead of a simple passionate affair is what beats me. He appears to be rather naive.) When the time comes to sign over the land, Matt refuses and decides to keep the land of his ancestors and find a way to save it. The family finds their peace finally after the mother's life support is taken off. Brian's wife gets to know of her husband's infidelity though and she comes to see Matt's wife in the hospital. There's a funny scene where she gets all worked up speaking to the comatose Mrs. Matt and shrieks out that she has forgiven her. Clooney is brilliant in the way he hustles her out of the room.

It is a nice quiet, different movie with some nice moments, lovely views. Clooney is good in this role as a sensitive father.The kids are good. I can't come to terms with how the family reacts though. The way the family closes up on the mother for cheating on the father and making her out to be the villain and them, the victims, was rather odd. Perhaps she was just not happy, maybe Matt was just not caring enough, maybe he never gave her what she wanted - there could be a million things why she had to look for her excitement outside. If that comatose woman could get up and speak her mind, I am sure she would have had some pretty unflattering things to say about her marriage to Matt. Anyway, that just struck me while watching the movie that everyone was  pretty judgmental about her. Nice movie though.

No comments: