After seeing Birth, I was torn as my feelings towards the film jumps back and forth from decent to good. As I am writing this, the score I would be giving is the score on how I feel at this moment. Jonathan Glazer has previously swept me off my feet with his crime character study, Sexy Beast, which demonstrated hard hitting and vulnerable performances from Ben Kingsley and Ray Winstone respectively. I came into Birth hoping to see a dominating performance from Nicole Kidman and at the same time be drawn into the intriguing mystery of the film's premise; the former succeeded more effectively than the latter. Glazer has only directed three films and as of now I have seen two; it is hard for me to say if this is Glazer's weakest film as I have yet to see his recent release, Under the Skin, which divided audiences, but I would not be surprised if this film would be ultimately regarded as his weakest film.
Birth features a captivating premise of a woman, Anna, gets taken aback when a young boy confesses to her that he is the reincarnation of her dead husband. When I read that, I truly thought this film was going to deliver a deeply impacting mystery that would have me guessing until the final act. Sadly the film slightly lets its curtains swing early on, which allowed me to anticipate the film's final reveal. It is hard to say if Glazer wanted his audience to be in a guessing state, and decided to provide some sort of incentive at the start to hook us, but accidentally showed too much in his attempt to edit the film, or does he intentionally gives us that nugget and solve it early on and instead have our attentions be focused on exploring the internal drives of the film's character and its deeper themes. I think this is an issue that would only occur for those who are watching this for the first time, I want to believe that Glazer is urging its audience to search for something more than its bizarre premise that it was meant to symbolise meaningful for both the protagonist and the audience. Though in saying all this, I was never at all felt bored with what was presented to me. I was, throughout, engaged with the protagonist Anna, wanting to understand on how and what she is feeling with this sudden revelation. Glazer does not let Anna's entire psychological and emotional aspect be completely explained on the surface, it needs a bit off effort from the viewers in order for the internal layers of the character to be revealed; this statement does not only concern for Anna as the supporting characters in this film also were given the same treatment by Glazer.
Glazer handles the film's tone effectively by allowing the film's ridiculous idea to be taken seriously, but not to the point where audiences are beaten over the head with it. He provides the film some breathing space, allowing the audience to see the film on how they want to see it; there were a couple of moments in this film where I laughed because I found the situation to be awkward, but I never at any of those points felt that I was being punished for not taking the situation seriously. I think the film's premise is one of the central reasons on why some people could not find themselves be completely engaged with this film; in order to find the gem in this film, one must not be too sceptical and instead be drawn into its emotions. The film seems to have many themes filling the air, but the one that truly stood out to me is the idea of closure. Anna is this broken hearted individual that, after ten years, simply wants to find a sense of closure to her past. Glazer ends the film with an idea that closure is the most difficult thing to do, especially when it concerns with love; years can go by and we do what we can in trying to move on, but memories and feelings of grief will forever stick until the very end.
I was thoroughly impressed with Alexander Desplat score, it was actually the first thing that caught my attention when the film started. There was this layer of hope and sadness in his composition, which reflects well with the emotions that the characters are going through in this film.
Birth features a good performance from Nicole Kidman as the emotionally fragile Anna. Though I was pleased, I cannot help but feel that it was too easy for the audience to be hit with a role like this, and I was hoping both would go the extra mile in providing something more substantial. Cameron Bright as the re-incarnated Sean was also great, given his limited experience in the profession and the role he is trying to achieve. There were a couple of moments where I was almost completely drawn in to his character, shifting my focus away from Kidman's Anna. Glazer handles the film's supporting cast wonderfully, not allowing the audience to forget their role in moving the film's story and the performances that the cast has brought were uniformly effective.
Birth may not be as impressive as Sexy Beast or as ambitious as Under the Skin but Glazer provides enough guidance to keep its audience engaged.
muchos huecos en medio, seria mejor película durando 5, 10 minutos menos.
Sean no posee carisma, el no es capaz de cargar la película
(mucha responsabilidad para un niño actor de 10 años) y es que todo cae en las actuaciones de los demas frente a Sean y lo que la actuación de Sean se
supone los hace sentir pero Sean no actua bien, por ellos sufre bastante la película, es puesto más en evidencia frente a las buenas actuaciones de los demas.
jonathan glazer Y allison Elliot en dirección son excelente, hermosas tomas y cortes de edición.
~September 27, 2014~
Birth is professionally shot and with some work the music score by Alexandre Desplat could've been worthy of an Oscar nomination, but like every other facet it lacks ambition. While many of the technical aspects merit commendation, the rating accurately reflects the pointlessness of having watched their syntheses.