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Adrift in Manhattan (2007)

Adrift In Manhattan. Feature film. (2007, 91 mins) IMDB

...a flat, emotionless film...

A

n old man visits an eye doctor and discovers he's going blind and there's nothing to change the outcome. It wouldn't be so bad except he likes to paint which is impossible to do without sight. As discussed in the film, Beethoven could still write music because he heard it in his head and could see to write it down. It didn't matter he couldn't listen to the final result because he had perfect pitch and well, he was Beethoven.

The eye doctor, played by Graham, is adrift because her two-year old son died. She and her husband (Baldwin) separated as a result. We learn the son died because he fell out a window of their high-rise building. She was watching him but not closely enough.

There is Simon. He's around twenty. He doesn't say much. He works in a photography shop destined to end because of the digital movement. He likes to shoot photographs of people. Early in the film, he spots the doctor and like a stalker follows her and snaps photos. He follows her to her home and snaps photos of her inside.

Later, with the B&W photos printed, he delivers them to her. Her first instinct is to call the police, then discuss it with the owner of the photography shop and finally to have sex with this young man in her house after he follows her again. The minute the sex is over, she tells him to leave.

Meanwhile our old man develops a relationship with a forty-something co-worker. They have a family dinner. Kiss. There's an odd couple. He's never been married. Has no children. No relatives. Hooking up with her seems like a good thing, except he can't or won't. He can't tell her he's going blind although maybe he does.

There's also Simon's mother. She has a job during the day which she hates. In the evening it's her and her son and wine. The father is probabaly a deadbeat and nowhere to be seen. What surprised me about this relationship was the fact the mother treated her son as if he were her lover. Very odd and disturbing.

This film isn't about going from A to B to C with some purpose. It simply shines a light on these disparate characters. We get a glimpse of their lives and its over.

In doing this, we're supposed to be enlightened, interested, entertained, amused, challenged, or provoked, but I can't say any of this happened.

The result is a movie that is flat from beginning to end and is, for the most part, devoid of emotion. One of the reasons we watch films is to feel emotions. To laugh and cry and shrink away from danger. When we feel these things, we know we're alive otherwise it might as well be a dream.

Posted 2009/04/17 at 18h21ET in Movie Commentary.

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