The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud
There is something wrong at the heart of this movie. What should have been a troubling portrait of post traumatic stress disorder is pawned off as a soppy romance. A character who suffers for five years from complex multiple hallucinations is relegated to ‘troubled teen’. Ok, so that troubled teen is Zac Efron so no one really cares if he goes out into the woods every evening to play catch with his dead brother, right?
A premise as fundamentally weird as this should make for a more interesting film. The trouble is that the filmmakers are determined to sell their popcorn to 13 year old girls, rather than serious punters. The British re-titling from ‘Charlie St.Cloud’ to ‘The Death and Life of Charlie St.Cloud’ hints at an attempt to draw a more arthouse crowd, but this attempt is stunted by the clichéd dialogue and the total lack of subtlety.
Charlie St.Cloud is billed as being a showcase for Zac Efron’s hitherto undiscovered acting talent (except for in the little seen ‘Me & Orson Welles’) however he seems to be blighted by ‘Tom Cruise Syndrome’ where however well he acts and however hard he strains to make those tears flow, everyone’s just going to get lost in his big, blue eyes. All the same he does a decent job of endearing a totally insane character along with his unusual looking squeeze and token British friend.
Not a very good movie, especially if you’re older than 14 and can comprehend, even if it’s just for a second, how deranged this Sixth Sense-esque premise really is.