Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring [USA,2015]

Nine Things About the Movie Spring

1. This is a gutsy, intelligent, and intriguing indie film that doesn't really fit into any genre, though it's usually given the awkward category "romantic horror".

2. It's structured very much like Richard Linklater's "Before" trilogy: a young man named Evan travels to Italy and meets a woman named Louise. They spend a week walking around, talking, and falling in love. However, in between the conversations, Louise has some pretty serious problems developing. Horrific moments start poking through the leisurely romantic development.

3. The movie plays with the viewers' expectations of horror movies, giving some clues as to what's going on, but changing them later. The real clues to the movie (including the film's title) are hidden in plain sight throughout the film, but aren't really appreciated until close to the end.

4. Given what this movie is trying to do, the script is very well-written. The budding romance is realistic and believable, but there is also a mounting sense of dread that starts to soak through everything.

5. The movie gets dangerously close to becoming absurd and silly. But at several crucial moments, it just doubles down and forces you to keep with it.

6. Everybody knows the trite saying, "The journey is more important than the destination". This movie plays with that concept on a few different levels.

7. In the end, I don't think this is a romance or a horror movie. It's a unique philosophical meditation on several themes - the nature of love, the fear of commitment, unequal sacrifices between partners, secrets and insecurities. Oh, and the difference between science and the supernatural.

8. The ending is controversial, and your reaction will depend on how you interpret the rest of the movie. I thought it was very smart and satisfying; I actually think that's the only way it could have ended. But others will find the ending to be frustratingly incomplete. It depends on what you think the movie is really about and how literally you take the story.

9. This is an an oddball film that will not be to everyone's taste, and will probably not be seen by very many people. But it's one of the most intriguing and intelligent films I've seen so far this year.