by Heinrich Domingo
History, beauty, and love are combined to create this film. Viewers see glimpses of the century-long past lived therein by one remarkable human being – a 29-year old Adaline. Behind all these seemingly complex elements, the film went from good to bad due to trying to be everything but being creative and effective. Sometimes, being a jack of all trades makes a movie a master of none.
A lady born in the 1900s spends her life as a wife and mother in their San Francisco home. Her conventional lifestyle was disturbed by a (literal) shock from a lightning strike. From that point onward, her aging ceases putting her on a miserable state of being left by loved ones.
To complicate the story, its makers decided to incorporate three genre treatments: romance, science-fiction, and drama. In this review, we look into each genre The Age of Adaline claims to have achieved.
Drama. In order to exaggerate Adaline’s ordeal, the movie showed two notable relationships she formed through the years. First is her relationship with her daughter. The interplay of characters did not help in engaging the audience. Scenes were not enough to establish the difficulty of their age disparity. The viewers cannot sympathize on how hurtful it is to see a child grow old and die before her parents. Directors could have added key parts to emphasize this dynamics. Second is her failed relationship with a man who happens to be the father of her boyfriend. It was too much of a coincidence to make both characters meet again in a very unlikely situation. Their awkward meeting at night and several moments of being alone give creeps to audience who despise love triangles involving father and son.
Science-fiction. Truly, artistic works enjoy the right to be playful on their concepts and story-lines. Even when pseudo-science is introduced, artists can still employ creativity. Yet, the only requisite in the production of these art pieces, specifically movies, is to make them plausible. In the case of this film, Adaline’s medical enigma insults the critical minds of the audience. Experiencing a car crash in the middle of Sonoma County while a meteor hits the moon twice in a lifetime cannot be simply bought by a thinking audience. These details continue to hunt the viewers until the end of the film.
Romance. This treatment sealed the thumbs down verdict on The Age of Adaline. It is ironic how the film created a strong woman character and then sees the necessity to complete her with a male love interest. Their romance seemed to be a desperate attempt to win over the majority of the crowd.
A story founded on age and romance has a chance to create an outstanding film. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Dorian Gray, and Only Lovers Left Alive swam on this topic with ease and eventual success. The Age of Adaline could have met the same fate if its makers know what they wish to do from the beginning. Through this way, they could have helped us spare ourselves from witnessing a film with strong foundation destroyed by faulty execution.
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