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.