Monday, November 11, 2019

On digital: Tom Cullen's PINK WALL highlights the ups and down of a six-year relationship

"Who are these people?" you may ask yourself during the initial scene of PINK WALL, as two characters begin babbling on in ways that appear improvised but also seem more than a little "off." Unfortunately, this babbling never stops, and while the two actors involved -- Tatiana Maslany and Jay Duplass -- have fine track records, given the tired and tiresome situations and dialog they are given here, try as they might (and they mightily do), characters we care about, empathize with or even believe are real never finally or fully materialize.

The fellow most responsible for this would be the writer/director, Tom Cullen (shown at left), who also happens to be, according to the IMDB, the long-term partner of Ms Maslany (shown above and below), which goes a distance in explaining her involvement here. Mr. Cullen made a large and positive mark as one of the lead actors in Andrew Haigh's Weekend, and he has graced some other good films.

This is Cullen's first foray into writing and directing however, and he clearly did not learn much from Weekend's spare and on-the-mark disalog. The chattering here is near-constant and often grating as all hell.

"Don't they ever shut up?" TrustMovies wondered from time to time as this 82-minute (but still too long) movie unfurled. No, they don't, but if the subjects this pair of long-time lovers discuss did not seem so typical and if the discussion rose above mostly cliché, we might better appreciate it. The most interesting section involves open relationships, and here, for a change, a few other characters are also involved. Even this extended scene gives us little new to ponder concerning the age-old question -- except maybe the first cock-size-à-propos-cunt-size exploration I've seen on screen.

I suspect the movie wants more than anything else to be "cool," as one of its characters accuses the other of always trying to be. It may indeed manage this, depending on your definition of the word. Time-wise the film moves back and forth between year six and year one of this relationship, with each of its half-dozen scenes meant to show us more of this fraught relationship. Finally, though, it all fudges together into the single non-stop talk-fest of two good actors trapped in poor material.

By way of recent companison, however, this movie is way better than Entangled. From 1091, Pink Wall hits digital tomorrow, Tuesday, November 12 -- for purchase and/or rental.

No comments: