Manchester By The Sea is a mosaic, a poetry, a philosophy of emotions blended with a series of tragic and distress events. To be very honest, the story is ordinary but the screenplay is a luminary. A janitor in Quincy, Casey Affleck, has passed some tragic moments and while he is still struggling, fate calls for another mournful news from Manchester-by-the-Sea of the passing of his brother, Kyle Chandler. With the passing, the lawyer reads the will and informs Casey that the deceased has made him the guardian of his nephew Lucas Hedges which came as a surprise.
At a slow but decent pace, the director Kenneth Lonergan is the author and a humble storyteller who mumbles the human behaviors involved in a single blink. He is smart enough to bring the humor out when the timing of a minor incident bestows. He is a traveler of groaning age who shows how that aging man shelters the false hopes of parenting in someone’s place. He presents the core character in a way that is pale to relationships but strives to necessitate what has been broken and burnt from the fire. The director simply brings the magic and music from the silence of shriek audible enough to understand the destruction of his heart. Us viewers have to observe the happenings in the film and feel sorry for him.
Like Fences, which speaks about the humans who are ready to lose or break someone, the outcome of this film is easily the gem of a drama. There are two dramatic sequences which burn and melts you. One, when Casey describes the haunting past to the police officers and later unsuccessfully attempts suicide on the spot. And two, when Casey meets his ex-wife Michelle Williams years after the divorce on the street.
Another excellency of the screenplay is the ‘Understanding’ between the ages and emotions involved between the two. The uncle-nephew chemistry is marvelous. There are an annoyance and a fury in the communication between them which downpours the sweat of ego or chutzpah, not mentally accepting each other at all.
All the actors involved in the project have performed very well but it is Casey who does the talking and deserves a standing ovation. I haven’t watched Casey’s films enough in the past to adjudge his performance as the best to date but the character he went on to play here is the true salvation and modus operandi. Manchester By The Sea is the aftermath of the death in the family. If life is an art exhibition, then this masterpiece is one of the most speaking pictures with the darkest and honest color of shades which, to the viewers, is widely acceptable.
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