The divorce of the Hollywood supercouple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt (aka «Brangelina») probably attracts more attention to the DVD release of their second joint movie «By The Sea» than its theatrical release did. The good news: «By The Sea» is not a typical Hollywood movie, but a quiet drama.
TEXT: Stefanie Singh
«Brangelina» play an American couple, Roland and Vanessa, who want to resolve their marriage crisis during an extended hotel stay in France in the 1970s. However, they spend most of their time apart. He drinks a lot, she cries a lot (and looks very stylish despite all depression). Later on, they spend more time together secretly observing their hotel neighbours, François and Léa- a newly-wed couple, during their sexual intercourses. The voyeurism revitalises their own sex life, but that doesn’t deter Vanessa from grabbing François. And only then, towards the end of the movie, is the trigger of the marriage crisis revealed to the viewer: Vanessa suffered two miscarriages. It’s tragic, without any doubt, but Vanessa’s jealousy of Léa’s recently diagnosed pregnancy and intention to destroy the marital happiness of the hotel neighbours is questionable. And Roland? He puts up with it all. Apparently, Vanessa’s miscarriages excuse everything.
One feels sorry for the likeable Léa, cheated on during her honeymoon and now pregnant, and the café-owner Michel who mourns the death of his beloved wife. It’s nearly impossible to develop any sympathy for the actual main characters as they act too self-centred and arrogant. In combination with the late revelation of the reason for the marriage crisis, «By The Sea» lacks first and foremost in good dramaturgy. The visual appearance of the movie is pleasing to the eye, but some images and fashionable close-ups seem very out of place in a movie that deals with such a serious topic.
DIRECTOR: Angelina Jolie Pitt
RELEASE: 20th June 2016 (Norway)