STATE LIKE SLEEP (2019)
The cast is great, but Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, Michiel Huisman, even Luke Evans were all wasted in this film, which is a shame, because, again, it had so much potential.
Despite the 'high calibre' cast, this film lacked.
Written and directed by Meredith Danluck, I was intrigued by the story of a grief-stricken widow who returns to Brussels to investigate the mysterious death of her famous actor husband - great, right? - where along the way she develops a connection with a ‘travelling businessman’, her husband’s nightclub owning former best friend, has an unsettling bubble bath, she has to deal with her semi-evil mother-in-law and her own mothers sudden illness...
The narrative alone should’ve been enough but throwing in the additional stories to bulk up the film feels like it’s almost trying too hard. There are scenes that were loosely reminiscent of The Girl Who With The Dragon Tattoo, but without the grit, or budget, and made me wonder if the film could’ve worked better if more of the budget had gone towards the production and less on the stars? like, what was (the greatness, that is) Michael Shannon here for? What was the need to make Luke Evan’s character a "sleazy" nightclub owner? The need for her mother’s eventual death? Did her character arc need to have come from both incidents, for us to see she was indeed human and capable of love and emotions and has woken/is waking from a state of sleep? Perhaps. Otherwise, would have faced her past (with Stefan's death) or potential future (with Married Businessman)? Maybe. Maybe not.
The film drifts sluggishly without much suspense or interest to its "twist" ending, that's revealed (blurted out) in about thirty seconds. It's both underwhelming and feels rushed.
All the elements are there to make a gripping thriller, but again, nothing here worked as it should. There were moments it did, however, as a complete project, it falls short. It's not a terrible film. It has some really nice shots and plays on the 'dreamy' state of mind with its colouring... It's fine. Just ok.
Director: Meredith Danluck Cast: Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans Distributor: The Movie Partnership Run Time: 104 Minutes