The House By The Sea is not punchy, exciting or educating
A common misconception, and one certainly bandied about the film critic universe, is that all foreign language films that make it to UK cinemas are worth the time, and are often realised as grandiose visions of exactly how cinema should be. Robert Guédiguian’s latest picture, The House By The Sea, seems to have set out to prove this ideal entirely wrong, using cliched dialogue and a general wooden, soap-like feel, to the complete picture.
The three siblings leading the scenes, dialogue and action, are esteemed actors in their own right, but the forcefulness of the script and the essential nothingness of what it represents, does not transfer into emotions anywhere near the manner that it should. The House By The Sea is particularly ineffectual in becoming a cohesive drama, and tries to make up for that by using its experienced stars. The result doesn’t work, and however harsh it seems, genuinely bores.
It’s feel is that it should be a quality production; it looks good and there’s an air of authority about the feature, but when it plays out, and acts as the film it truly is, The House By The Sea is not punchy, exciting or educating. Its themes and morals seem way off from where the story suggests they should me.
More than a bad production, The House By The Sea feels like a failed one, and that is probably a worse outcome. Whether it’s just a botched job of translating the film for English subtitles, or Robert Guédiguian has lost his historic touch, but this is not a film with insight or anything interesting to say. There’s at least something missing, stopping it from working as a piece, but this is more like a film lacking in multiple departments, existing as just a shoddy drama with nothing of worth to say.
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