The word serenity means the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness. It conjures up peace of mind that, in many cases, one can only dream of as we live our daily lives. We strive for it but might only catch moments here and there. Can you imagine a serene world where everyone in the world lives on a beautiful, perfect island? An island where everyone is happy and no one grows old? Believe it or not, it exists. In the film ‘Serenity’ it does anyway. Baker Dill (Academy Award®-winner Matthew McConaughey) lives on this tropical heaven. This paradise is called Plymouth island and it’s where Dill has everything he needs when he needs it. He barely gets by but he’s completely content with fishing for just one certain tuna that always escapes him. He has never questioned his existence until now.
What brings him to start is the re-emergence of his ex-wife, Karen Zariakas (Academy Award®-winner Anne Hathaway), who finds him on Plymouth. Karen, knowing he needs the money, offers him a golden opportunity. She uses Dill’s son Patrick (Sayegh) as bait to lure him in. She tells him that her husband, Frank Zariakas (Clarke) is extremely abusive to her and Patrick and asks if he’ll consider helping her escape his clutches. She wants Dill to take Frank out on a late tuna run and, essentially, toss him overboard to fend for himself… preferably in shark-infested waters. The offer, the mention of Partick and seeing her face again bring about feelings that Dill has suppressed. He now questions his life, whereabouts, and reality itself. Beautifully shot, you can see how if someone lived a life such as Dills’, he’d accept anything not to penetrate it. Why would he want to open up a doorway into the past that might bring him out of this utopia? This may sound like an intriguing film but, unfortunately, how it’s cut might have stopped it from being as good as it could have been.
The film has intense moments and the cinematography is gorgeous. Had it been put together differently; the story might have had a chance. Halfway through watching it, I thought to myself that it made a lot of sense that it, originally slated to come out in October of last year, was changed to January where it’ll be forgotten if ever seen. This might be better for all involved. Hathaway is stunning but not in a good way. Her damsel in distress character is vapid and mousy and McConaughey’s performance is straight up uncomfortable to watch… especially as he sweats all over the camera lens. It’s perplexing why they’d accept the roles, unless, as I suggested, the film was cut in such a way that it ruined the original intent. The world writer/director Steven Knight (Locke) was trying to convey simply doesn’t come through with the dialogue coming out of his actors’ mouths, the way they behaved and the structure of the film itself. That said, it’s just a bad movie. The more story revealed, the less sense it makes… and then there’s the music. The serious music trying to sell you on a sincerely divine plan of some sort makes the film more laughable as it goes on. If its stars interest you, wait for cable to see ‘Serenity.’ I can’t suggest you see this at the theatre.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.SerenityFilm.com