“Empire of Light” wears a colorful jacket, but it lacks charm

With movies like sky fall And 1917 Director Sam Mendes managed to score high marks. His grand style and innovative and skillful camera work kept many moviegoers on the edge of their seats. to The Empire of Light Mendes takes a different path. Instead of stylized action scenes and exorbitant production costs, EOL is a surprisingly small-scale and intimate story about mental health and discrimination. Did Mendes reinvent himself with this, or should he have stuck to his formula for success? Read us below review. The film can be seen in Dutch cinemas from April 6, 2023 and is expected after that on Disney +, as it is produced by the Walt Disney Company’s Searchlight Pictures studio.

Mental health and racism play a leading role in light’s empire in search images

Empire of Light is set in a quintessential British seaside town in the early 1980s. And at the heart of the movie is Empire Cinemas’ Hilary Small, played by Olivia Colman (Favorite). Hilary suffers from schizophrenia, which manifests itself in confusion and mood swings, for which she receives depressant medication. Because of this, Hillary leads one Existence is lonely, compliant and monotonous. For example, she celebrates New Year’s Eve alone on the roof of the cinema, is sexually abused daily by her boss (Colin Firth) and has never seen a movie in the cinema where she works.

Until a young, handsome Stephen (Michelle Ward) joins the Empire Cinema crew. Hilary and Stephen soon discover they have something in common: discrimination. Hilary is unable to obtain any other employment due to her mental health and Stephen is not accepted into college due to his black skin. In addition, he has to grapple daily with the racist social tendencies of the Thatcher regime. An unlikely, brief, but loving relationship develops between the two.

See also  Turns out one of Keanu Reeves' worst movies is huge

Acting performances don’t fall short, but the characters do

Coleman knows how to portray the different sides of a mentally ill woman in a layered and vulnerable way. We see it in several scenes Impressive mood change From monotony or joy to pent-up frustration and anger. The part where you walk into the theater in a crazy mood during a big movie premiere is one of the highlights of the movie. At such moments, the film manages to touch the viewer with Coleman’s acting. Unfortunately, despite a number of big names and strong acting performances, the other characters didn’t turn out as well.

For example, Colin Firth’s character Donald Ellis has been reduced to little more than the grumpy, cheating, and sneaky white man stereotype. The other supporting characters aren’t much more than that archetypes. Even Ward, in his Stephen persona, is given little space to explore beyond the suavely handsome lad who just happened to be unlucky to be black in the conservative UK of the time. Which is a shame, given the topic – racism – that Stephen is supposed to expose.

Mendes and Firth fail to live up to the high expectations of ‘Empire of Light’

Where Empire of Light still exhibits some typical Mendes artistry is in the beautiful visuals the movie presents to you as a viewer. In soft pastel shades of yellow and blue, he defines the austerity and day-to-day life of the British seaside town Scenic way to bring him back to life. In long still shots, many scenes appear to be straight out of a British yellow postcard. These watercolor moments provide a subtle contrast to the warm, luxurious burgundy and gold in cinema.

See also  Nadiya Bakes S01: The Bread Cure At Its Best

Also, original music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross should not be mentioned. The soft, rippling piano sounds – in conjunction with the cinematography – give the movie one The ethereal and dreamlike character.

But despite Coleman’s ecstatic aesthetic and exceptional acting, Empire of Light unfortunately fails to live up to the expectations attached to big names like Mendes and Firth. The film (primarily by Coleman) paints an uncanny picture of the life of a person with mental problems. But the other big topics like racism and sexism are just becoming Superficial He treats. This makes the film feel unbalanced since the second half, with an unclear and framed message at the end.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *