How does one handle the death of a loved one?
Mr. Shawn Ku is starting up the long road of cinema. I am experiencing his work for the first time and I am driven by respect to pen this piece down. Director and also Co-writer Shawn Ku tackle a tough one by taking on BEAUTIFUL BOY. A majority would agree that it is a great effort for a startup directorial. I value the effort however although well accepted it would have been accepted even better if Shawn Ku himself took a step back and looked at what he missed out on, I am most certain he will find areas that need fine tuning.
The precision acting by Micheal Sheen & Maria Bello this time is the reason to me that failed in this drama. The acting is so greatly directed and executed by the cast that it seems that they forget to connect with the audience. All I experience is well enunciated lines. I heard noise but I didn’t feel the anger, I heard sobbing but I didn’t feel pain, I heard the silence but I didn’t feel the sorrow. Bill (Micheal Sheen) and Kate (Maria Bello) are sharing a marriage that has no love. At the verge of separation they are willing to give the marriage one more chance by taking a family vacation with their son. Sammy (Kyle Gallner) a college freshman is having issues of his own. On a regular night Sammy calls his parents speak very indifferently and ask his mum a very unusual question before the conversation ends. Next morning Sammy’s college is headlining the news as a shootout had taken place and 20 have been reported dead. None of the names are released in respect for the families of those who have passed. Two detectives walk up to Bills front door, Kate knew that Sammy is dead even before a word is said; however what she didn’t know is that her son is the killer and he took his own life as well after shooting down the other students. A mother just lost her son, this has to be felt by the viewer don’t you think? Shawn Ku has all the right moves with the camera angles, the close up shots, the abrupt silence to build interest, but his efforts would have gone a longer way if the emotional factor which is in my case the most pre-dominant of all factors is present.
Mass high school and college massacres always have been a thriving issue in some countries. I am forcing myself to believe that this plot on its own is something that always had to be discussed. The public need to see what it is to be the killers’ parent. How do they handle the pressure? What happens to the social status? How do they cope with colleagues? How do they handle the media? How do they move on with their lives and get used to the fact that from this day forth they will always be looked at by society in a different angle? Brilliant issues don’t you think? A Brilliant movie it must be don’t you think? It indeed must be to some, but not to me today. The issues don’t tug at my heart as much as it should due to the lack of emotions being teased. This movie experience to me is just like the marriage Bill and Kate shared. They showcase a happy marriage but within they are empty for each other. This movie is empty to me.
This is how I see it nothing more nothing less.
Title: Beautiful Boy
Directed by: Shawn Ku
Starring: Michael Sheen and Maria Bello
Rated: R for some Language and a scene of sexuality