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Kodachrome Is A Netflix Misfire!

Subhash K . Jha

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Kodachrome

Starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis,Elizabeth Olsen

Directed by Mark Raso

Rating: *1/2(one  and a half stars)

Of  late Netflix has been giving us some thoughtproving  if not always brilliant films from across the world. Kodachrome looks like a project that was designed to draw in a discerning family  audience away from theatres where the shared emotional experience watching a  disintegrating  family brings the audiences close to their  own loved ones.

It’s like when you see a road accident  you instantaneously slow down . But what to do when the road being travelled is so weather-worn and familiar that even a road accident seems  a desirable way to perk up the journey?

Kodachrome is a road movie so inured  to clichés and  stereotypes  of the  genre, I wondered what  the writers were thinking! And this is what  I came up with:  having run out of innovative ways to  put together  a family road film, they decided  why not do the opposite? Fill the plot with every known stereotype  of  the genre.

The result is a film that is a full-blown tribute to triteness  from Frame  1 to Frame Done.A dysfunctional son who hates his father? Check! A father who  is so loathsome he deserves to be hated and probably deserves death? Check!  An attractive female  presence that acts as a buffer between the warring parent-child? Check!

To his doomed  saga’s good fortune  director Mark Raso gets  some proficient actors who know their moves even when the  steps seem over-rehearsed. The very accomplished Ed Harris squanders his brilliance in  a  character and  film that do not deserve his dedicated skills. Harris plays the utterly unlikeable  photographer with a disarmingly honest cheesiness.

 At one point during the drive down damnation alley(my description , the characters  feel otherwise) Ed Harris taunts  his son for  not having a “python in his pants” or some such  utterly mortifying insult that  no sane father would throw at his son.Wait there is more of that garbage from the father in  hell.There is a mealtime scene  with Ed Harris’  screen-brother(Bruce Greenwood) and screen-sister-in-law(Wendy Crewson) where  Harris says something so despicable you wonder if his terminal illness  is  the best thing to have happened to the  people in his  life.

Stand-up comedian Jason Sudeikis  as the disgusted son,brings a  certain amount of cornball credibility to a film that is hellbent on puking on  itself.  The  ‘female interest’,played  by Elizabeth Olsen,has to cope with lines  like ‘You’re beautiful’ , to which she must act bemused and embarrassed. We  might as well throw up too.

 The  dialogues are all styled to  sound lived-in with expletives  like ‘cool’ and ‘dick’ filling in  for genuinely-felt drama. By the time the son softens towards  his dying father I had hardened my resolve to not feel an iota of  sympathy for the man who feels photographs are precious possessions that must be preserved in hard-copy and not frittered on  phones.

Good thought.  But some  ideas are buried  too deep in a  mound of hackneyed  plotting to  be of of any use.Bury the though. Bury the  man. Bury the  film. RIP.

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