10 July 2003 | setiatari1
A truly unique moving film about how love and faith can bridge the chasms of isolation and pain between family members.
I saw this Two Summers at a film festival and was deeply moved by it's depth of humanity. The storyline is about a young boy who (having lost both his mother and grandmother)is neglected and abused by his elder brother, father and grandfather. Each of the men lives in his own private world of pain, isolation and denial. After an unexpected turn of events the little boy decides that he will not die of loneliness and goes on a strrrange quest to bring his mother back. A chain reaction of events (touching, funny and harrowing) ensues. And his broken family is forced to... well I won't spoil it for you.
There were so many unique and beautiful things about the film:
1)The little boy is not portrayed as a victim but instead someone who, even though a child suffering neglect and abuse, decides to take responsibility for his own happiness.
2)The movie doesn't stereotype the characters. There are no villains or heroes. Each person is complicated and nuanced.
3)The movie portrays suburban WASP dysfunction through its graceful and unique camerawork and its script, without patronizing its characters or the audience with heavy-handedness.
4)At heart it's a hopeful movie that doesn't come across as faux-uplifting. Each character's risk and victory is hard-won and not without it's price, making the journey that much more meaningful and real to the audience. (Or me anyway.)
5)The director managed to pull amazing performances from the actors especially the young boy. Not a hint of cutesy wide-eyed movie-kid performance here. You really believe in this kid.
6)Although it's an independent film, it doesn't look or sound like it was shot on a shoestring budget.
I really related to the humanity of the characters even though on the face of it, I have nothing in common with them. That, I think is the mark of good cinema. It's a remarkably self-assured mature debut for such a young writer/director. One to keep an eye on.
This is not film on a grand sweeping scale but for those who like their movies intimate and heartfelt, I highly recommend it.