Daily archives "June 20, 2015"

Love & Mercy *****


U.S./ Director Bill Pohlad/ 121mins

Synopsis: A biopic of The Beach Boys Brian Wilson which centres on 2 different time periods, one in the 60’s during the Pet Sound sessions the other during his problems in the 80’s.


A story of Wilson’s life seems to be a hard thing to bring to the screen with the amount of stories that had to be covered. Thankfully director Pohlad has focused on the two most interesting aspects of the time. The stories are interwoven between the time periods.


The 1960s story sees Wilson and the Beach Boys after their early successes. Brian decides to not go on the Japan tour to stay home and write something bold and new, which would eventually become “Pet Sounds.”


The 1980’s story involves Wilson (John Cusack) and his harmful relationship with Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti), a man who claims to be his legal guardian and the person who saved his life. Events take a dramatic turn when he meets a young car saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (Elizabeth Banks) who tries to uncover Landy’s sinister motives.


Even although both leads look nothing like Brian, they take on the mannerisms which eventually makes anyone forget about the physical traits. The actors give a fragile and innocent complexity to the man who is torn between his music and the strange voices he hears in his head. In fact Cusack’s performance is a return to form after years of disappointing roles.


The 60’s sequences are shot ins filtered style which gives it an almost archival feel. The sound design is exceptional with music and effects being used to encapture what Wilson is feeling in his mind. Bringing some sense and understanding of mental illness.


The film brings justice on bringing one of the greatest musical icons story to the big screen with terrific music and powerful performances.


Reviewed by Paul Logan