This is the story of a man who makes you feel ashamed for taking two trips because the groceries were heavy, a man who makes you feel bad that you do not particularly like talking to your aunt, a man who is without a doubt a better person than you. Or at least me.
This movie felt like one big good moment. They did a good job building something and then keeping it consistent. The script balanced powerful lines, hero moments, and comedy well.Overall it is a good movie. It does have its weaknesses though.
The first issue is with the amount of characters included. I understand that this is based on a true story and that all the people existed and were important in the story. Unfortunately, very few of them got enough screen time or lines or uses of their names by other characters for me to know which soot stained white guy with medium brown-to-blond hair of average height and fit physique was about to die at which time. And it didn’t help that most of them acted like serial TV show victims hoping to get a recurring role one day. Most of the actors I’ve never seen before. The two I recognized were not for the best of reasons. One of them played the love interest in the made for TV Disney movie Halloweentown High. The other was Patroclus in Troy and Murtag in Aragon. The first acted a little better than you would expect while the other acted a little worse.
My next complaint is that sometimes the makeup was too heavy-handed. Most of the time it was passable even if the soot did look like someone took a big paintbrush and swiped it across the back’s of the non central characters hurriedly. Once though they were made to look sallow and the main characters were laughable. The makeup artist obviously went all out on their faces but didn’t blend very well into their necks and chests or around their eyes so they ended up looking like they were children pretending to be skeletons for Halloween. It is possible that the skin tone of each character was not taken into consideration.
Finally, while the story was amazing and it did a good job of maintaining emotion it lacked the necessary emotional movement to have emphasis on points. There wasn’t an emotional roller coaster. There wasn’t a shining moment. There were moments that could have been high points that seemed as if they didn’t care to try to reach their greatest impact. In the end, I was left with a great blanket experience but no deep feeling.
Verdict: While the movie itself isn’t all it could have been the story is worth watching.