Take This Waltz – 2.5/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Take This Waltz – 2.5/5 – When it comes to movies that draw upon human character, the reliance is upon the strength/weakness of the actor/actress of the film.  When you get this kind of direction, a lot of the times, the drama created can fall flat or be way over the top.  For this movie (Take This Waltz), the ideal of relationship and true love is at the forefront of the movie.  With a focus of these themes being developed through the characters, there are times when the movie is a triumphant, and you feel connected to the film.  A lot of the times, the film falls flat.  Overall, Take this Waltz provides an honest endearing look at human relationships, as well as present the question; what will you do when a choice must be made, even if it is the hardest one to make.

The premise of the film is as followed:

While on riding back to Toronto, Margot (Michelle Williams) meets a handsome stranger, Daniel (Luke Kirby).  A certain bond forms between them, as Margot begins to discuss some of her fears, but then they find out (on a taxi ride home) they are neighbors.  Margot admits she is married to a man named Lou (Seth Rogen), which causes a deeper conflict for the two.  What ensues as a battle between what is true love, commitment, hardship and what defines the meaning of living happily.

The acting is one of the strengths of this film.  When it comes to the main character of Margot, MIchelle Williams gives a gifted performance.  She creates a woman who is deeply conflicted between her desires/fantasies versus her commitment to her husband.  She has genuine feelings for her husband, but also has intriguing with another feeling developing for this new neighbor.  In the confliction, you get a lot of solo time with her, as the camera focuses a lot on Margot.  You watch as the conflict creates a lot of emotions in her, as you see it through her facial expressions and reactions to what she is seeing or feeling.  At times, you feel for her trials for the heart, but other times you feel like she is being overly dramatic when she is the focus.  This causes you to cling to the character half the time, but not really care for what she will ultimately decide in the end.  For the side characters, which includes the Lou (Seth Rogan), Daniel (Luke Kirby) and the sister-in-law Geraldine (Sarah Silverman), they give complimentary performances to Michelle’s character.  Unlike other films, where the focus is only one character, the actors/actresses provide quality in their supporting roles, as they gave you a look at genuine real people.  You see through Lou a kind-hearted, devoted husband.  You see he cares for his wife, and you wonder why anyone would not want to be with him.  You then see Daniel, who you find is a humble, respectful handsome guy.  Unlike being the standard archetype, Luke Kirby gives a stronger, more complex individual.  He provides someone, who does have strong feelings for Margot, but knows he can only do so much, and only wants the best for her.  You can see why someone would fall for him, regardless of their current commitments.  With these two individuals in the film, you get two characters with depth and intrigue, and you are provide with a strong look at the complexion of human relationships, and why you can feel for either of them and their love for Margot.  One way or another, you will pull for both guys at points in the film.  Sarah Silverman’s character was a good addition, but her side story of alcoholism doesn’t do much to add to the ideas of the film, or distract from its focus.

With the direction of the film, it keeps the focus on the dialogue between the characters, as well as the ideas that revolve around character’s emotional involvement to each of their relationships in the film.  With this kind of direction, there are a lot of situations/scenarios where the characters will have the camera focused on them (outside of the main character), and they must lead with their facial expressions, body movements, and delivery of the well written scrip.  The characters help provide some wits and charms, and this provide some steadfast focus.  For the most part, the focus is great as the characters provide rawness to the fiction.  This helps create some humor, some distraught, some angst and humility towards certain characters and their decisions.  There are times, though, where the dialogue and situations don’t connect well, causing the film to drag between the good moments.  This also causes the movie’s draw towards the characters to not full develop, and the focus becomes dire.  This lost of attachment causing the film to stagnant, making the film fall in the category of a typical melo-drama film.  With the average feeling setting in because of the missteps, the climax feels more like an assignment for a film project themed along film noir, and the film loses its grip on the audience and you can’t fully embrace what could have been a very great ending scene.

The cinematography gives you a realistic approach to what is created through the messy direction, but it helps you feel the depth and guile for the character’s emotions.  Set in the backdrop of Toronto, you seem at home with Lou, Margot and Daniel.  You notice, through the visuals, there is a realistic approach to the film.  This helps you stay with the film til the end, even when the direction falls flat. There is no score in this film, except for a few parts, and those parts didn’t matter or add any affect to the film.

Overall, this film gives you a realistic look at different layers to commitment and relationships.  With that realistic approach, the film will have drag moments and some missteps with its delivery.  Because of this, you never really get the complete scope of the film’s message.  Michelle Williams does a good job as the main character, as the support characters provide quality to her emotional development.  The cinematography also helps prop up the film through its slow times.  I’d recommend this film for a causal watch on TV, maybe a rental for a Friday night, but nothing more than that.

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