Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Castaway on the Moon (2009)

How good is this film? It tied with Gallants for the Audience Award at this years NYAFF. (Gallants will be reviewed later on today as part of the Matinee Day Double feature)

It’s a love story of sorts. A love story because it’s the easiest way to describe it, however that’s not really true. Actually it’s a film about connecting and finding the ability to go on even when we don’t meet the person we’re connecting with. What Castaway on the Moon is really is a charming one of a kind movie that will probably touch you.

The plot of the film concerns a man trying to commit suicide by leaping into the Han River. Washing ashore on an island in the middle of the river he now finds himself trapped with no way to get off. He begins to build a life on the island and eventually decides that he doesn’t really want to be rescued. Watching him is a young woman who is equally isolated. She hasn’t left her room is a young woman who lives a very organized and ordered life. She’s slightly out of touch with reality, to the point that she thinks the man on the island is an alien. The collision of their lives changes the rules for both of them.

Okay there is one ground rule when you watch this film. Stay with it to the end. Don’t bail early. Watching the film I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. There was something odd about the first hour that rubbed me the wrong way. The first half hour is about the man and his time on the island. The second half hour is about the young woman and her time in her room. It wasn’t bad but at the same time I wasn’t sure where it was all going. Then about an hour in it all clicked and what I just liked, I started to love. There is this point where the film suddenly becomes something special.

I was moved. I smiled broadly and laughed out loud.

What can I say, there is something about an agoraphobic running amok in a city at night that brings me joy. I love these characters. There is something real and charming and wonderful about this mismatched pair and their halting attempts at communicating with each other (and I do mean halting). As weird as they seem to be, they really aren’t that weird. These are the sort of damaged people that we’ve run across. Given a turn or two in our lives there is a really good chance these people could be us.

This film is one of the great finds of the year.

Currently playing festivals in the US it's out on DVD as an import but one hopes it will get a US release, but for now it has no US distributor.

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