Sunday, 16 January 2011

"Deja Vu Festival"

"Half Light", by Craig Rosenberg, 2006, DVD, Universal Pictures Video

"Half Light" (2006), is a psychological thriller, by Craig Rosenberg ("After the Sunset", "Hotel de Love"), starring Demi Moore, Hans Matheson and Henry Ian Cusick. Set mostly in a Scottish village - in reality, most of the outside scenes were shot in the Welsh Llanddwyn Island, in Anglesey - "Half Light" tells the story of successful American novelist Rachel Carlson, as she tries to cope with the accidental death by drowning of her beloved eight-year old son Thomas. Feeling unsupported by her mediocre writer of husband, Brian, Rachel decides to move to a secluded cottage on the Scottish coast in order to finish up writing her book. There, she meets handsome lighthouse keeper Angus McCulloch, who befriends her and quickly the two fall in love with each other. Intrigued? Well, so far, why not be.

Unfortunately, the storyline does not keep its promises. Instead, after a rather nice beginning, the plot together with the acting slowly capsize into a dark, nonsense ocean of boredom and cliches. Want some examples? Pretty soon Rachel sees her ghost son (as in "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze, only less sexy or in the "Sixth Sense" , without Bruce Willis). Then, she starts to believe she is loosing it (as in "Passion of Mind", only without the excitement of a double life in France), discovers her best friend was cheating on her with her now ex-husband and that the two plotted to kill her in order to get their hands on Rachel's money. Deja vu feeling? Yes, me too. However, so far, nothing dramatically wrong. Just a shortage of imagination, which could easily have been compensated for with a nice piece of acting. Alas, despite the otherwise delightful presence of Demi Moore, and the haunting Welsh scenery, "Half Light" is just sad. Why is that? Well, you just have to take a pick. 

Demi Moore looks tired and, believe it or not, rather unsexy! Her husband, Henry Ian Cusick seems lost and alarmingly bored. The lighthouse keeper then? Well, ok, Hans Matheson is sexy, even if it is quite a challenge to be, given the poor crowd on his remote island of just... one inhabitant. The ending is so predictable, it would be laughable, if it was not so sad. Demi/Rachel survives the ordeal, the bad guys do not, the locals help save the day, while at the very end - the credits, in fact - you might decide that the best actor in the movie was actually the Welsh landscape: amazing, wild, inspiring and thankfully unpredictable. At that point, I owe you guys a confession. I bought the DVD because of Demi Moore - usually so... well, you know, beautiful, untamed, witty - I put it on the DVD player, watched it... Must have been a sort of black-out. Or was it? I woke up dizzy, slightly bewildered. Did someone turn off the light? Or was I shamefully asleep in the dark?

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