Friday, 24 September 2010

Charlie St Cloud: Movie Review

Charlie St Cloud: Movie Review

Charlie St Cloud
Rating: 5/10
Cast: Zac Efron, Charlie Tahan, Amanda Crew, Kim Basinger, Ray Liotta

Director: Burr Steers
Having done so well in Me and Orson Welles, Zac Efron tries ever harder to leave the High School Musical genre behind in this romantic weepy.
He's Charlie St Cloud, who lives in a small American coastal town - a guy with everything going for him; a chance to get a sailing scholarship at Stanford, and a brother Sam (Tahan) who idolizes him but fears he's leaving much like their absent father did to his mum (Kim Basinger).
On the night of graduation, Charlie's saddled with baby sitting Sam rather than joining his mates for one last blast - and so deciding to head out with them, he grabs Sam and they take the car out.
But an accident sees Charlie's life changed forever when a driver kills Sam - suddenly five years has gone and Charlie's still in the same town, tending the graveyard and every night keeping a promise to practise baseball with his dead brother.
Unable to move on, Charlie finds his life changed again when Tess (Crew) a fellow high school graduate heads back to town on the eve of a solo round the world sailing trip.
Can Charlie learn to love - and live again?
Charlie St Cloud shows once again that Zac Efron can actually act - sure he's saddled with horrendous good looks, but he really does hold his own in this flick - and the anguish he conveys when his brother's killed is gut wrenching to say the least.
The whole film is a revelation in many ways - it's an unconventional romantic drama which doesn't do exactly what you'd expect.
Both Tahan and Efron's on screen time is well done and there's an ease between the pair which keeps the whole "I'm playing baseball with my dead brother because I'm a bit damaged" schtick out of the completely weird and kooky and just the right side of charming. Zac impresses throughout - and is clearly the best graduate of the High School musical phenom.

But it's just a shame that the film loses it completely in the final reel as it inevitably moves into the purely cheesy and schmaltz - anything that solicits a major groan from most in the audience is never a good sign. Sure you could probably see it coming, but given the film's confounded your expectations early on, it's just a shame they bottled it at the end.

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