There are bonds that have their basis on blood, an ill sentimentalism that looks for life starting from deaths. This seems to be what The Endless River wants to tell us in its story about a man and a woman that find themselves after their families or partner have been killed.
It’s not clear whose the fault is, who is the killer or if one of them is involved; what is certain is the existence of a death spiral which links them in a sexual bond and maybe also in a sentimental one, because what is important is the couple. Unfortunately, they do not count for the movie, what matters are the characters, whose impalpable emotions aren’t explored. There’s nothing bad in the starting point of The Endless River, nor in its intentions, but there’s all the evil of the world in the way in which the movie chases them, avoiding systematically to face a theme which is extremely recurring in cinema and in the new narrative. The bast authors that tell sentimental stories so fiercely, better if stained by the opposite of love, know how to work on those sides that are very far from cliché. In order to be able to strike the audience once again, they try to hit them from an unexpected point or to go so deep with involvement that they can reanimate something primordial and carnal. The Endless River doesn’t choose none of these two way (even less the physical one), but it keeps an impossible distance for a story of this kind. To shoot the usual and the banal without get the hands dirty, without going down to the pain swamp and then resurrecting from it together with the character is what leads Oliver Hermanus’s movie to bog down very quickly. His images displays a clumpy repertory of contrasts, a useless alternation of interiors and exteriors and, apart from a sequence of credits worthy of Hollywood classical cinema, it all gives the impression that the movie doesn’t know where to go or how to set the story up.
By Gabriele Niola
Translation by Bianca Baroni
Photos by Alessio Costantino
In collaboration with Badtaste.it