Movie review – The Messenger

The Good

* The lessons are all cliches, but true. It’s great to be able to deliver the rather conventional meanings through the drama of a movie
* The director was able to pull it off due to the great acting by Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Steve Buscemi
* Along with Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker”, this Moverman’s directorial debut is much needed for the thinking and reflective public (small as it is, certainly noticeable in New York City)

The Bad

Several key scenes that had my hope build-up but failed to delivery

* The kitchen scene with Olivia
* The post fist fight, drunken road trip, singing Home on the Range
* The “morning after” scene in the woods after the Wedding party crusher
* The “coming out” scene on the coach watching Tornado on TV with Will’s War story told to Tony. Though the scene was saved by Tony’s cry with a good camera angle and Will’s controlled respect. Kind of late in the story to bond for friendship sake, don’t you think? The shock of the horror of the war, and irony of being a decorated hero…  Didn’t we just have half dozen episodes of those?

The Ugly

* A warm ending with hope in Oklahoma?
* As controlled as the movie tries, too much were going on which strangely make one feels not enough is there.  It’s so understandable that you want to do so much with your first feature film; or the marketing company got the final say, etc. etc. But a steady hand in the editor and/or director could turn these materials into a better film.

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