Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Udayan Prasad's YELLOW HANDKERCHIEF boasts a terrific acting ensemble
THE YELLOW HANDKER-
CHIEF also boasts a quartet of fine actors each working up to snuff (above it, actu-
ally). Directed by Udayan Prasad (My Son, the Fanatic) and adapted from a story by Pete Hamill by screenwriter Erin Dignam, this small, 96-minute movie combines past/
present and older/
younger generations into a nearly seam-
less fabric that left this reviewer in a puddle of happy tears (to steal the title of a film that opened just last week).
immediate transitions auguring the sense that something terrible has happened. The film begins with the release from prison of a lonely, uncertain character, played with his usual skill but zero grandstanding by William Hurt (shown below, right, with Maria Bello). Yet, that queasiness we feel about Hurt's character is almost immediately offset by some positives: another inmate grasps his hand warmly upon saying goodbye, telling him with restrained feeling, "We don't wanna see you back here." One after another, these small good things pile up, and soon we're in Mr Hurt's corner and rooting for him.
chief is also about the subject of caring. "I wanted to make someone care about me," says Martine (the lovely Kristen Stewart, shown at right) by way of explaining why she seems to have hooked up with the Hurt character. What does it take to get others to care about us? The film asks this question implicitly, thank goodness. One of the pleasures of the movie is how softly it treads. People behave and interact; through this we learn all we need to know, as bit by bit the past becomes clear. And when, finally, an explanation is called for, we -- and the characters -- are ready for it.
Eddie Redmayne (Elizabeth:The Golden Age, The Good Shepherd, Savage Grace and Powder Blue), who brings his unique combination of sweetness, charm and quirk to the mix. So tight is this little acting ensemble (there are no other characters of any note in the entire movie) and so beautifully do they play off each other, that, by the finale, they've fully earned the tears you'll shed. For anyone who has wondered what it takes to make someone care about you, here's the chance to see how that works.
Sanuel Goldwyn Films, The Yellow Handkerchief begins its national rollout this week with openings at multiple theaters in New York City and Los Angeles -- before expanding across the country. You can find cities, theaters and dates here.