The Descendants’ premise is noble: it tells the story of a seemingly average (though wealthy) guy, whose wife goes into a comma. In the close to two hours that follow, this guy, named Matt King, played heartedly by George Clooney, discovers his wife’s secret life while dealing with her worsening condition, overseeing a large business deal, and demonstrating utter confusion when it comes to handling his two daughters. Yes, life is a box of chocolates...
Despite Clooney Oscar-nudging performance, something is amiss. As much as I tried, I felt apathy to his character, causing the story remained shallow. Furthermore, the story seems to be undecided in its first half as to whether it’s going to be shaped as a comedy or as drama. When it finally settles down on drama, the second half is better than the first. King’s two daughters, played by Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, are actually able to bring in some of the needed sympathy for this story to work.
What you can expect are a few good moments of laughter, several moments pointedly aimed at being tear-jerkers, an engaging storyline and decent acting.
With 20 minutes cut from the film’s length, a hand less heavy of bringing out the natural drama of the story, this could have been a 4-star film. I know I am the exception as most critics hailed this movie as near-perfect, but for me its 3-star film, possibly going on 4. If you plan to watch it bring along some tissues and your Hawaiian shirt.
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