Sorrow is nothing but worn out joy

Old Joy (2005)by Kelly Reichardt

Other films by Kelly Reichardt: River of Grass (1994), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek's Cutoff (2010)

What brought me to this film was Will Oldham’s impressive acting and charisma in John Sayles’ Matewan. Then I found good reviews about this film and especially enjoyed the short synopsis that I read about it. Overall, the content was really thoughtful and frightening in its own way. It’s amazing how realistic the film seems to be and how each of the depth of the main characters can easily be my own personal core. We often see films; let it be comedy, drama, coming of age, academic, etc, which uses the same kind of plot yet only with the younger version of the characters in this film. How about the same concept only 20 years after? Things like that would occur, what I wish to experience now, I bet and hope to wish to do so as well in the far future. But of course, the sad and honest truth about it is that the experience will never be the same. Just like how Kurt felt, even freedom has its limitation, since to be free is to be isolated, and to be isolated comes, after a long while, is loneliness.


Directing: I simply like the slow and gentle cinematography of nature, the sound was magnificent and the angles really showed a feeling of belongingness and wholeness with the whole scheme of things attached to the film.

The perspective pointed at Mark was an intimate theatre of his personality; yoga, spontaneous backpacking, and even the slight withdrawal of personal freedom due to a committed relationship.

The cinematography was nice and decent. It had the effect of indie yet the silent dampness of life. The audio gave the feeling of magnified consciousness of the senses.

I sincerely enjoyed the natural bathtub scene. It really made me feel as if I was having one myself with the surrounding sound of nature filling up the spaces in the air.

Plot: The plot, to be honest, makes me a little gloomy. The viewer can easily put himself in each other the main character’s position and even imagine the younger versions of the characters being the joyful and lively people that they used to be. But time takes away youth and youth takes away with it the freelancing joy that we have experienced. It’s hard to accept something like that. Although it’s not the same kind of content for everyone, Kurt could have easily had better and freer friends just like him and experience youth again on a nature hike, and Mark could actually enjoy the successful and sentimental life that he has a new, but that kind of thought is very limited, the plot of the film is such a huge possibility and is such a very realistic projection of real life.

The dialogue felt real and specific, it makes you think about your life without much inner thought and reflection, especially from a different perspective; like other ordinary people like Kurt and Mark. The topic of conversation was special and interesting in its own personal way.

Characters/Acting: Oldham this time did not impress me all that much, it seemed like he was being a little too much of himself as it supposed. And Daniel London seemed a little too ordinary as well. Not much room for astounding acting actually in the script since they were entitled to perform normal people with average characteristics and mannerisms.

Score: Liked the background music very much. It was soothing and relaxing, at the same time it also allowed you to think widely with the film.

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