Film Review: "By the Sea"

Or, guide on how to enjoy Angelina Jolie's 3rd directorial film.

So this writer saw Angelina Jolie's "By the Sea" on Friday the 13th last week as a gift from a good friend who was celebrating her birthday that day. Yes, i get to be the receiver and not the giver. Life's more fun that way. I wish i could say the same of Brad and Angie's latest screen coupling.

If you are a fan of slow artsy European cinema where character development  tends to be vague and the story does not really rely on a plot but instead on the advancing conflict between the characters on screen, this movie is divine. Absolutely divine.

If you are a fan of the couple and wish you could be with them, up close and personal, for two hours, this movie is a gift. You will see their incredible, beautiful faces hug the screen for as much as you'd want them.

If you are the visual kind of moviegoer who would like to be treated to elegant scenery, tailored clothes, designer glasses, coiffed hairs, made-up faces, beautiful architecture, melancholy music, french dialogues, scenes of fishermen going out to sea, tourists being tourists, this movie would instantly drop in your best film list of the year.

But then, all of the above would vanish by the time the 3rd act of this film unfolds. It's so ridiculous that to stifle a laugh would only heighten your urge to laugh out loud like you are watching the funniest video of a toddler fighting off sleep while trying to munch on her favorite candy. You will be instantly forgiven by everyone in the cinema because they, too, will be laughing with you. And the odd thing is, the scenes you are laughing at is supposed to be the big payoff for the two hours you've previously invested waiting for Angelina's character to blurt out what's making her so miserable. Haha!

So i decided to skip writing a review but here's a quick guide instead on how to enjoy this film, that is, if you still want to watch it.

Here goes:

Step 1. Buy a bottle of your favorite wine.

Step 2. Drink a glass of wine.

Step 3. Buy your tickets online. Watch it at Arclight in Hollywood or at your favorite cinema with the most comfortable seats.

Step 4. Drink another glass.

Step 5. Call a cab or Uber. Don't drive, you've just had two glasses of wine.

Step 6. Drink your 3rd glass.

Step 7. Go to the cinema.

Step 8. Set your timer. Make sure the alarm will set off at the 2 hour mark.

Step 9. Relax and enjoy the movie. It will be a great two hours of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Angelina's beautifully composed shots and great selection of melancholy music.

Step 10. When the alarm sets off. Stand up and leave. Don't be curious as to how the movie will end. Listen to me, I am trying to save the movie for you!!!

Step 11. Optional. You may tell your friends you have just partially seen Angelina's best film yet.

Step 12. Stop reading this article now. Spoiler below. Come back after you've completed steps 1 - 11.

Spoiler alert.

Step 13. So you are back home. Grab your 4th glass of wine. Am going to tell you why Angelina's character was so miserable in the film... she's barren. she can't have children.

Here's the trailer of the film to remind you of how gorgeous the film is.

Raymond Lo

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