By Heinrich Domingo
With 19 Oscars nominations, three of which she won, Meryl Streep has gained the nod of critics and the public alike. Her splendid acting career does not only come from her capability to show the right emotion in the camera but also from her ability to be versatile on roles she portrays. In her most recent film, Streep gives us a cool rocker persona behind a mother who chose to abandon her children. Despite a slight flop on musical parts and a mediocre plot, Ricki and the Flash offers us a Meryl Streep performance that shouldn’t be missed.
An aging rock band vocalist is being summoned by her ex-husband because of their daughter’s depression due to a recent divorce. She has to leave her rock style life and go back being a mother after decades of abandoning her family. While she thinks she no longer knows how to be a mother, her children prove her that she does not need to be a mother anymore. She can no longer make up for her grave mistakes in the past.
Ricki and the Flash works under a shallow plot and static sequence of events. This confines the characters inside a small box that discourages them to showcase their acting prowess. The story is set between a penniless rock band family vis-à-vis a highbrow dream family. There is no conflict and Meryl Streep is the only character allowed to go out of the box. This resulted in underdeveloped roles.
Moreover, this is a movie that can be easily forgotten for being too generic; sometimes reaching the point of being a cliché. From the beginning, moviegoers built their expected ending, and in the end, the director lacked courage in offering them an alternative. What we see on the screen is a simple narrative that never evokes excitement or surprise.
While the storyline is easy to forget, musical flops might make you remember the film. Aside from Meryl Streep’s faulty notes, musical performances are tediously too long. Instead of delivering a smooth scene transition, band songs looked like poorly-made music videos.
Despite all the movie’s flaws, watching Ricki and the Flash will still be a good movie experience especially for Meryl Streep fans. Contrary to popular view that accomplished people like her no longer need to prove themselves, she continues to innovate and extend her limit. This makes Streep a timeless actress.