Last Night

The relationship drama is a tough genre to pull off correctly.  If you play it to real, it can be boring or off-putting to the average audience member.  If you play it to fake, it quickly falls into terrible melodrama.  Last Night almost finds the right balance, but unfortunately can't bring all of the parts together.

Last Night follows a young, married couple played by Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington.  At a party the couple go to, Joanna (Knightley) sees Michael (Worthington) talking alone to a woman (Eva Mendes).  Joanna becomes suspicious as the woman is revealed to be a coworker of Michael's who is also about to go on the business trip Michael is to leave for the next day.  The next day (with Michael gone), Joanna runs into an old flame (Guillaume Canet).  The rest of the movie follows what may or may not happen between the four characters.

Last Night is directed and written by Massy Tadjedin (The Jacket).  Tadjedin's script is good enough for a viewer to sit through, but, make no mistake, it is barely just good enough.  Not one single risk is taken throughout the entire film, and it is no surprise that this film took a while before making it into theaters.  There is just not a lot for a viewer to see in this film.  However, there is something there that allowed me to sit through this entire film.  Maybe, it is the realistic dialogue.  Maybe, it is the fact that Tadjedin allowed some of the plot to follow into melodrama.  Maybe, Tadjedin actually found that rare balance between the two.  However, Tadjedin makes a fatal error with the ending of the movie.  If I looked at who wrote this film before watching it (and looked at what gender she was), I could have easily figured out the ending.  Might the ending even be a little bit sexist?  Maybe, but there is not enough evidence to accuse Tadjedin about that.  As for her direction, Tadjedin brings nothing to the table, but it was probably a pro for this film that she directed her own material.

The acting ensemble was just okay.  Keira Knightley created a good lead character.  She nailed a lot of the nuances in her character, but she surprisingly struggled with playing the more dramatic scenes.  This is by far not one of her best roles but it is good nonetheless.  With Sam Worthington, I have not been able to decide if he is a good actor or even if he even has acting potential yet.  That is until this film.  I found him to be the best part about Terminator Salvation, but then again it didn't take much talent to stand out from the rest of the acting in that movie.  I found him to be perfectly casted in Avatar but I would not say that was a great performance.  Despite that, I thought Worthington had potential as an actor at that time.  That was until, Clash of the Titans where gave a very poor performance.  Was this just a fluke?  Or were the first two performances the fluke?  I think that Worthington proved it to be the former with this performance.  Worthington fails to create any type of chemistry with Knightley or Eva Mendes and the rest of his acting just comes off as bland.  A robot could have done just as well in the role.  Fortunately, there is a bright spot in the cast: Eva Mendes.  Eva Mendes has long been an overrated actress (star actually might be a better word), but she gives her best performance in this film.  Mendes actually shows that she is trying, and the failed chemistry between her and Worthington is clearly not her fault.  She also displays a lot of mysteriousness and adverseness without having many lines or screentime.  Guillaume Canet brings nothing to the table in the final major role.

Nothing is special about the behind-the-camera aspects of the film besides the editing.  Susan E. Morse does some great work with the two different storylines as she brings some interesting transitions and dramatic cuts to the table.

Last Night  made a near fatal error of deciding to play the story safe with some actors that have no chemistry together.  Fortunately, there are some aspects such as the editing, Eva Mendes and (most importantly) a decent combination of lifelike and melodramatic storytelling that save it.


1 comment:

  1. Now this is keira again with her romantic flick. She looks amazing in the last Night movie. I was just looking at her the whole movie and my goodness, she's beautiful, she has excellent acting skills, she is a complete rock star. The movie also seems to be pretty much on the top of the charts.


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