Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: Take Shelter

To begin, I am a reader and not a film critic. As a result, I am always on the hunt for a movie that has a certain feel to it, and Hollywood has been letting me down for years. With the decline of independent features being released, I find myself ignoring film altogether and getting my visual candy from TV (now that Game of Thrones is back, I can breath easier). I judge movies on the story, and less on how cameraman three was shooting a angle on scene six. Get me?
Anywhoo, until Wes Anderson starts making a movie a month, I will continue to view many, many duds.
Here is a diamond in the rough (the rough being the stacks of new releases at my branch):

Take Shelter

This is the story of Curtis and his family. Curtis is one of the last of the really handy men. You know, the ones who can go out and fix stuff (with his hands!) and drive construction vehicles. I have never met one of these guys, but I have read about them in books. His beautiful wife runs their home and supplements their meager income by hand embroidering pillows to sell at the flea market each weekend.
Their daughter is a doll-faced angel who cannot hear. Don't you just love them already?

Curtis begins to dream of horrors. First, a storm arrives and funnel clouds appear and the rain looks like motor oil. Then, when the rain touches someone, they go insane and try to attack Curtis and his daughter.
He is plagued with these dreams.

The dreams cause Curtis to doubt his mental health and to build up the storm shelter the family has in the backyard. This shelter starts out as a set of "Dorothy doors" and becomes a full-on condo.
He is bankrupting his family. Curtis is no longer "present" and it is destroying his career and relationship with his friends. He is checking the skies on a constant basis.

The downward path this family is on is destructive and part of you screams: No, Curtis, don't take out a second mortgage when that money is for your daughter's hearing aid!! The other part of you WANTS him to be right. Maybe the apocalypse is coming! Build the damn shelter!

I will not give away the ending. Just know this. I thought the movie was perfect, but my companion who watched with me complained it moved too slowly for her (she has a short attention span, however).
I loved it.

Here is the spoiler-free best part: When Curtis first begins to doubt his mental health, his FIRST stop is to the local LIBRARY!!!!! Yes, I love this guy. Then he goes to Sparkle (a grocery chain) to buy about 300 dollars worth of canned goods, but hey! Good for him for knowing where to go first. Anyone with the library this high on the priority list in a crisis is my kind of guy.

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