S1.74: Sonnet #22: Nice idea in using the Cohens, and Lynn is good but narrative and wolf effects don't really work at all
There seemed to be a conflict in this sonnet when I read it, since on one hand we have the material we have seen before which talks about the subject being young in the heart and verse of the beholder, however in this case we also have the writer taking in the reality of the situation – that both are getting older and time is having an impact. It took me a few reads to get into the rhythm of it, and a few more to start to feel like I had part of the measure of it, but this is how it came across to me. In the film we join an older woman as she sits by her mirror with a picture of a young man in a soldier's uniform. We presume this is the image she has of her husband and she muses over it.
To a point, the delivery is as it should be, but there is something else going on here – and unfortunately it is something else that I didn't think worked very well. There is some form of ghost story here, and certainly one or both of the characters appear to be dead. I get this feeling by the otherworldly feel to bits of it and, in particular, bits that occurred which are accompanied by a wolf howl in the background. This howl is a very odd effect to find and I wasn't sure it worked at all. The use of the old music and the continued use of the scratch effect when stopping it, also grated a bit. The delivery of the sonnet itself is fragmented across this narrative in a manner that I didn't think helped the delivery of it.
Cohen's performance is good though, she understands the words and her delivery of them is not just saying them, but you see that she seems to be thinking behind them and the words are what comes out – so she connects well. I think it was a nice touch to use her husband Rob in the film too (although he was better playing the barman in Sonnet #3). Technically the film is not quite as tight as I would have expected to have been given that it was in a closed location with perhaps fewer variables than those shooting on the street would have to deal with. This struck me with the sound – it is surprisingly variable; never bad, but it is affected by character movement for example muffling a bit when the characters come close, and then back to normal as they step apart.
The use of an older real life couple in this was a nice idea and it offered some real emotion in the delivery. Cohen does pretty well with what she has but it is a shame the film seems to fragment her performance of the text through some sort of ghost narrative that doesn't work (and certainly didn't benefit from the wolf sound effect!)
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