A GHOST STORY
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(Profound, absurd or one big put on)
You are going to love it or hate it, depending on whether or not you see this very unusual film as profound, absurd or big put on.
“A Ghost Story” is not your usual commercial film, but rather something you might see at a film festival. To begin with, it is projected on the big screen as a small square, like an old home movie. Some of the shots are agonizingly long, to the point where you think the projector may be stuck.
The film opens with a happy couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) living in a typical middle class house. He dies in a car accident. She identifies him in the morgue and leaves. We watch his body lying still under a sheet for what seems like eternity. Affleck, last year’s Academy Award winner, has little to do, spending most of his time (or watching his stand-in) under a sheet.
Then suddenly the body rises, covered by the sheet with two holes for the eyes, and the ghost walks slowly toward his house, arriving to watch his wife going through the grieving process. He stands under his sheet in the corner or behind her, watching her wash dishes, check the mail, stare out the window, eat a whole pie and then throw up. The scene would be a good lesson for psychology classes learning about the grieving process, but it may put you to sleep or have you heading for the exit suffering from complete boredom.
But stick around. Things pick up a bit as time goes by and the ghost observes his wife coming home from a date, packing up his clothes and personal possessions, and eventually moving out of the house...but not before leaving a note in a crack in the wall.
A new family moves in. The ghost is so enraged he makes objects fly around the house. They move out. The next scene shows an obnoxious man ranting about life, death, God and the eventual destruction of the universe.
I’m sure some scholarly types will put this all together, along with the bizarre happenings that follow right up to the end...or is it the beginning?
“I want to know what the note said,” a woman shouted as the movie ended abruptly and we sat there never finding out. Strange. Very strange.
Rated R, with some profanity.