Where We Leave (Movie Thoughts: Louder Than Bombs)

large_Louder-than-Bombs-poster-2016Grief is that weird thing that touches people and changes them. Norwegian director Joachim Trier tackles that in ‘Louder Than Bombs’ wherein a trio of men is left behind by photographer Isabelle (Isabelle Hupert)  Her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and her two sons Jonah and Conrad (Jesse Eisenberg and David Druid) try to make sense not only of what’s left behind metaphorically, but also the art/photographs needed for an introspective of their mother’s career. We see three men lost here, and Trier uses an abstract hand in the storytelling. I wish I could say that the character studies work, but we only get fragments of each of the characters, and we never really understand why they act the way they act. For example, we see that Eisenberg’s Jonah is scared of fatherhood, and he deals with it by committing.  But we don’t know how to react – should we be enraged, or understanding about it? As such, it felt random. We get a clearer idea with Conrad’s plight, and there is a heartbreaking scene at the end when he spends some time with his cheerleader friend. We only see fragments of emotions, making the experience wanting. There’s an elegant quietness in the movie for sure, but at times maybe I just need things to be spelled out a little clearer.

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