Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Suburbicon (2017)

Suburbicon is not a bad film. It's  not a great film either. It's also not the quirky black comedy that its trailer made it out to be.

The trailer actually does the film a huge disservice. Without seeing it, I might have been able to enjoy the story unfolding at its intended pace, but instead I spent most of my time waiting for the next moment shown in the trailer. Any sense of surprise, mystery or shock is pretty much ruined.

The film itself is something of a mixed success. Its story is concerned with the rot of American society. One one hand we have a black family who have moved into a white neighbourhood who are blamed for dragging down the decent, safe world that the Suburbicons (Suburbiconians? have created for themselves. On the other hand there is a the white family that is very nicely dragging down society all by itself.

The focus of the film starts with the children - the only sons of the two families who reluctantly bond over baseball. When the film tells its story through that lens of childhood, it's at its most effective. Unfortunately, it strays into the world of adult shenanigans - at least on the part of Matt Damon and Julianne Moore (the black parents, Mrs and Mr Mayers (Karimah Westbrook  and Leith M Burke) get much less of a look-in - although there is a particularly disquieting scene involving inflated prices as a supermarket with Mrs Mayers) - and as a result loses something of its potency.

It's nicely shot, decently acted, and probably a better film than most critics would grant, but it had room to be a lot better. Worth a watch, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.

Hong Kong Railway Museum

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