What I’ve Been Watching: Get Low

Get-low-poster-movie.jpgBig Fish is a film I fell in love with when I first saw it. Not so much because of the adventures Ewan McGregor went on, whimsical as they were, but more because of the theme of memories and stories was one I really identified with. The idea that we had no idea whether the stories we were watching were real or not, added a really interesting and unique dimension to the film.

Get Low is a film interested in similar themes. Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) is a hermit, and has been so for the past forty years. He is as the stage of life where is thinking about his funeral. The problem is he wants to be alive to see it.

Bush, a man viewed as angry and dangerous by his fellow townspeople, wants to hear the stories people tell about him. In every conversation he has in the film he can’t help but ask “What stories do people tell about me then?” However, finding someone brave enough to answer him straight proves difficult.

As the film settles down, we begin to find out exactly which story it is Bush needs to tell. A true story no one knows except him, but which has haunted him for the past forty years.

Get Low is a film I enjoyed for the first half. Perhaps it was because I was expecting the climax to the film to be lots of people telling stories about Bush, and we as the audience are asked to try and figure out the truth. (cf. Citizen Kane)

Instead, the story which follows, while interesting, made the story a lot more straight forward than I was hoping. As a result, it’s a film which does not leave too much room for interpretation, and is a much less interesting piece as a result.

Get Low is a film I really wanted to like more, and wished that it had made better use of its characters and set-up. However, I feel it relied too much on us being interested in the reason for Bush’s enforced imprisonment, as oppose to asking wider questions about the themes it raises. To summarise: a well made film which lacks ambition.

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