A Ghost Story stars academy award winner Casey Affleck as C and actress Rooney Mara as M. It’s clear from the start that C & M are in love and share a home together. We see them as a couple, having deep conversations and also falling into disagreements about past life choices.
After an unexpected and tragic event, C (Casey Affleck) awakes at a hospital in a long white sheet with two holes for his eyes. He has also lost the power of speech. C chooses to return to his suburban home and tries to reconnect with his wife once again.
Ghost Story is a simple film filled with dramatic and beautiful visuals, but this beauty comes at a price. The price audiences must pay is patience, as you have to sit through long scenes. One such scene involved M (Rooney Mara) eating dinner while being rather emotional and C (The Ghost) watching her eat from afar. This scene alone, with no dialogue in it whatsoever, continued what felt like 5 minutes.
The film doesn’t have a wordy script but aims high visually, and truly takes its time to show Ghost’s journey. Our Ghost (C) isn’t just mopping around. Throughout the film, it’s obvious that he’s trying to seek peace as the world around him continues on without him. It was easy to enjoy this film because it was filled with so many crafty shots and is filmed beautifully. If you’re expecting a well-made horror film, then you may wish swipe right again on your Apple TV remote.
As I’ve said, because our lead is a man in a white sheet with no voice, I was amazed at how the film still managed to give the audience plenty of information so they can understand what’s going on. The lack of dialogue from C made me felt that I too was watching life from the sideline, perhaps a little bit like Ghost. Despite it sounding impossible to film, director David Lowery has managed to pull it off.
The film also provided an unsettling audio track (this is a good thing) which is consistent and timed well. So many times the basic music was able to build suspense or worse, make you feel alone.
I should note too, A Ghost Story’s aspect ratio is a 4:3 (square box styled format). This was on purpose and again helped with the film’s tone and feeling. That’s right- this film does not playback in full screen.
Overall this is a film that has taken risks and delivers something very creative, fresh and different. While this film may frustrate some with its long paced shots, the journey here is well worth it and the film’s ending does feel rather satisfying.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden