“Theme of the Month” is a series of super-short reviews on movies that fall under a certain sub-genre. This month’s theme is “family.”
“Krisha” (2015) – Estrangement
It’s Thanksgiving Day. A family is sitting around the house, some preparing the turkey, others roughhousing in the backyard. All are having a fun time, socializing and catching up with relatives. And that’s when Krisha, a woman who hasn’t shown her face to her family in years, shows up.
Drenched in mounting, claustrophobic paranoia, “Krisha” follows this fateful Thanksgiving evening as it turns from uneasy, to sour, to sad. Director Trey Edward Shults uses the set to his advantage; besides one walk in the street, the bulk of the movie takes place in specific rooms and never manages to drag on for too long in each spot.
The actors are all relatives of Shults’, with most of the names, including our main character’s, reflected straight from real life. Not all of them are professional, but that adds a certain believability to the plot, something essential for a film as tightly knit as this one.
“The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) – Brotherhood
“This time tomorrow, where will we be…”
A different take on the road trip genre, “The Darjeeling Limited” follows three brothers as they trek across India on train in an effort to bond and reconnect the broken fragments scattered by the death of their father a year ago.
Like most Wes Anderson movies, each frame is filled with color and exquisite detail. Themes are handled thoughtfully, both by the script and the brothers themselves (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman, respectively). Highly recommended!
“Wolf Children” (2012) – Parenting
While the title may sound a bit odd, the common themes of raising and nurturing children are far from foreign. Hana is a single college student who strikes an instant relationship with a man- he is purposefully given no name. He reveals himself to be a “werewolf” type of creature and, instead of being mortified, Hana accepts him and has two children, a boy and a girl, with him.
He later passes away, leaving her with two kids she has no idea how to take care of. Thus begins her journey of successes and failures, all for the children she loves.
If I had to present one film that proves 2D animation is still relevant in this Pixar day-and-age, it would without a doubt be “Wolf Children.” Every shot is strikingly beautiful, and each flower, tree, and leaf is detailed to the brim.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy. It’ll be worth it. I promise.