A Ghost Story Review

A Ghost Story

Time is a flat circle, or so says Rustin Cohle.

And some rather less significant German chap by the name of Niezstche.

It’s the idea of eternal return; that if space and time are infinite, it follows that we’re destined to live out our lives over and over again, in another time and another place.

I know what you’re thinking – what a great idea for a film…

Well, it’s good enough for director David Lowery’s latest film anyhow, A Ghost Story.

C and M are a sort of happily coupled up couple living out in the American sticks.

C is a musician of sorts, but not really a performer, while it seems as though M is a professional pie eater… or at least she could be, judging from one badly misjudged and unnecessarily long scene.

Having left the white noise of city life behind them to focus on their own creative passions, all they’ve really created is a disconnect between themselves, which isn’t helped by the random piano sounds they sometimes hear in the middle of the night.

Of course, such first world problems are swiftly put into perspective by a tragic accident that separates these two souls from one another.

And as we watch the journeys of life and death play out on the same stage, if to the beat of very different drummers, we’re left with more questions than answers about what happens when we finally take that leap into the great unknown.

A Ghost Story is a curious film that almost feels as though it were designed to be talked about afterwards, rather than enjoyed whilst watching it.
Lowery, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara are reunited from their ain’t these bodies saints film, buy don’t expect anything as linear or character driven here.

In fact, it’s hard to tell how present Affleck is in A Ghost Story, as he spends most of the film with a white sheet over his head.

There are moments of humour and flashes of insight throughout, particularly one monologue in a party scene that lets you know just how insignificant all human endeavour ultimately is.

But it’s fleeting against the drifting nature of the film’s plot, making you latch onto these moments like a drowning man would a lifejacket.

Of course, this may be Lowery’s very intention.

A Ghost Story is an interesting watch with an open invitation for its audience to question their very reason for being.

But if you want to be entertained, this ain’t the celluloid you’re looking for.

Jonathan Campbell

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August 2017
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