Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

January 9, 2017

Movie Review: "Manchester by the Sea"

Manchester by the Sea:
A beautiful drama and a movie that moves the drama lover empathically. If we are to define drama, Manchester by the Sea is one-hundred-percent and more, and when we add in incredible acting, it is pure bliss. We, as the observers, can hardly detach ourselves from the story.
An apartment maintenance man by the name of Lee Chandler, played by Casey Affleck, carries the scenes flawlessly, humanly, movingly; as if the part was specifically written for him. It is as if he himself experienced in real life a permanent scar that he carries with him, hidden from us, but performed superbly. 
How do we know this? 
We see this by his careful words. We observe him as a quiet gentle soul, an ordinary and simple man, and we totally sympathize with him. We feel his pain. But, underneath that quietness and pain, there is extreme anger just waiting for the right moment to explode. From time to time we see this sudden burst of anger and the actions that follow it. 
Lee lives with an extreme kind of pain over the guilt of the death of his two children in a house fire he caused. We, as the observers, watch in horror as this calm, quite, gentle soul grabs a gun from a policeman inside the police station and tries to commit suicide because of his overwhelming  guilt. Throughout the movie, Lee continues to occasionally display rage and self-loathing, although he is not a man to show his emotions in and around people.
He is a character who has two opposing emotions. On one hand, he is not a showy person, while on the other hand, push his buttons and he will explode. With these diametrically opposed emotions, Mr. Affleck displays his talents as one of the most disciplined actors around and is able to convey an avalanche of emotions, while at the same time holding back deep volatile emotions. That, to me, is superb character acting (acting internally and externally).
When Lee’s beloved brother dies, he travels to Manchester to help with the arrangements for the funeral and to take care of his nephew, Lucas. In the process, he finds out that his brother has appointed him as guardian of his nephew; meaning he must stay in his home town longer than he had planned. He never in his heart wanted to be the guardian of his nephew. The relationship between Lee and his nephew begins to develop slowly. But then, Lee decides to have his nephew adopted. Despite the fact that their initial bonding was not smooth, Lee’s decision is a great disappointment to Lucas.
The director, Lonergan, masterfully tells the story through multiple flashbacks. A dramatist has no problem with the flashbacks. However, the general public may be confused by these multiple, non-intrusive flashbacks, because it is hard to distinguish between the flashbacks and the current timeline. Another disappointment for me was the excessive F-U-C-K. Really! The entire town’s people cannot form a sentence without using that four-letter cuss word.
Regardless of the short-comings mentioned, overall, it is an emotionally moving story and a superbly performed drama.