‘The Vow’ good, could have been great (IANS Movie Review)March 11th, 2012 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS
Film: “The Vow”; Cast: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum and Sam Neill; Director: Michael Sucsy; Rating: ***
What is the importance of marriage vows in a world where people speak too much but mean too little? The answer, as it is for any other collection of words, is the same: the importance, like beauty, lies in the eyes and heart of the beholder. That - the eyes and heart of two beholders in a marriage - is what ‘The Vow’ tries to portray by putting them in a situation they thought they would never encounter.
A distraught husband, after an accident wipes out the memory of his existence from his wife’s mind, has to somehow find a way to not only cope with it, but also to try and win his wife over all over again. Yet the more he tries, the more he seems to fail as his wife keeps slipping further away from him.
There were too many places where “The Vow” could have gone terribly wrong. Like it could have taken the easy route and put too much sugar, while forgetting to put other ingredients.
But it creates a hard situation for its protagonists, thankfully does not stoop low enough to offer them soft solutions to the same. This really works in the film’s favour. What sadly does not is that it also quite simply fails to soar either in key moments or as a whole.
What we have in our hands, is thus a film that could have done really well with some intelligent writing and smart direction. Right now it’s too much of an even ride but a sense of unpredictability in direction could have really worked in the films favour.
Though it works as it is, it could have been much more poignant, and funnier at the same time. What rescues the film is the chemistry between McAdams and Tatum. They do look like a young couple in love. However, the confusion that the two face with each other is not written so well, thus not leaving much scope for the two to really show their acting abilities.
So it becomes a film that is serious, but not serious enough and funny though not funny enough. In between there somewhere is the remnants of a great film that this could have been. Somehow it misses the bus.
Yet, it is a perfect little romantic-comedy, one that will indeed make viewers think about ‘ever after’ and whether there is indeed anything like that in love or marriage. And whether in a world where people speak too much but mean too little marriage vows have any significance.
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Tags: channing tatum, chemistry, confusion, existence, favour, films, heart of the beholder, love, marriage, marriage vows, memory, movie review, protagonists, rachel mcadams, sam neill, scope, soft solutions, unpredictability, vow, young couple