Capsule Collection (Movie Thoughts: Come Into Your Own/Take Me To The River/3 Way Junction)

Some capsule reviews:

1coiAndrew Guerrero wrote and directed ‘Come Int Your Own’ and he also stars in it as Lirim (kind of an odd name, but very close to my father’s name, which is Lirio) who has some kind of emotional awakening. After being in a relationship with a man for years, he finds himself attracted to a woman whose phone he finds on the street. The indie roots of the film show up a lot, but I found the story interesting, and quite relevant as it contributes to the notion that love is love, that we fall in love with the person, nto their gender or orientations.


1takMatt Sobel’s ‘Take Me To The River’ is very interesting.  It’s sort of a psychological thriller of sorts. Logan Miller plays Ryder, a young man from California who goes into a family reunion with his parents in Nebraska. I guess Nebraska is the operative word here, as things spiral out of control shortly after they arrive. He wants to tell people he is gay, but his mom says it’s probably not a good idea. Then what happens next could have been solved by that declaration, but no, Sobel takes the film to unexpected places, and I could just watch in horror shouting at characters, saying no, don’t do that. It tackles class structures, and secrets that are open-ended. I read that this film fares better after a repeated viewing, and I may just do that.

970146.entity3 Way Junction stars Tom Sturridge, whom I liked when I saw him appearing on Broadway last year, but then again I like young British lads all the time. He plays a London architect here who gets stuck in a Namibian desert. That happens because the character he plays acts petulant when he doesn’t get his way. I wish I could sympathize but I stopped caring halfway through. For most of the desert scenes, Sturridge wears a freshly-pressed linen short, and for most of the time, the shirt stays that way. So that alone loses points for me.

Young Man Of Life (Stage Thoughts: Sea Wall/A Life, the Hudson Theater)

swThere is a viral video going around of Alan Rickman saying that basically says doing a monologue is not acting, it just shows that you can memorize. He further adds that ‘real acting’ is being in the moment, listening and reacting to other actors.  I don’t know if I will agree with that, as I have just finished watching ‘Seawall/A Life,’ playing at The Hudson Theater on Broadway. It stars Jake Gylenhaal and Tom Sturridge each doing a monologue. I thought both were very well-written, and presented fully formed characters that I felt I knew after the evening.

The first act has Sturridge playing a young British photographer. Written by Simon Stephens (he wrote The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time )  Sturridge takes us from something light and funny to a darker place, and he does it effortlessly. The director, Carrie Cracknells gives this part a light touch, and when the second sad part comes, you ease into it almost unknowingly, and then you find yourself in the wallows.  Of the two monologues, it is the one that shines better.

Jake Gylenhaal’s second act piece, ‘A Life,’ has less depth, but is showier. It also benefits from Gylenhaal’s star power – boy can this guy command the stage, as he has that undeniable charisma that will make you want to look at him, and look at him more. His piece centers on a young man experiencing the circle of life, experiencing the loss of his father as well as the birth of his child. Gylenhaal gives his all, and there is that much-talked about part where he goes into the audience and makes personal connection with them. Even if you are far from that row, you will feel he touched you too.

All in all, this is the kind of theater that will feel more like an experience, as these two actors present two variations of the young males at similar points in their lives. It’s not too deep, and certainly not shallow.