The Descendants: Movie Review

"The Descendants" is that rare film that not only has an interesting story to tell but beyond that fact is its compelling, complex characters that show genuineity on the big screen. On top of this is a slowly-paced yet humorous showing that will reward the viewer with so much more. With memorable performances not only from George Clooney but also from the other members of the cast, "The Descendants" is the film to watch right now locally. It is a healthy platter of fresh, raw emotions that we rarely get from the veil that movies tend to put on.

When Matt King's (George Clooney) wife suddenly gets into an accident and is induced in a coma, he is forced to re-examine his family life. Matt admittedly knows that he has always put his career first before his wife and kids. Now that the accident happened, Matt is forcibly thrust in taking care of his two daughters, Alex (Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (Amara Miller), whom he doesn't know anything about. This all happens while Matt is trying to sell their family-owned 250,000 acre land that will affect the island and people of Kaua'i and having to take care of his ailing wife. Things turn for the worse when Matt discovers that his wife Elizabeth wasn't faithful
towards him and was already planning a divorce right before the accident happened.

"The Descendants" is simply magical to say the least. It is a film that not only shows the imperfections of reality but its unique humorous style makes it one serious film that also sways you into a less somber feeling. Of course, much praise should be given to the actors that gave outstanding performances - each one of them bringing life and to deep and complex characters. Another thing is the cinematography, it has its own unique style that is completely different from what you usually see from Hollywood films. Hawaii in this film is down-to-earth, honest, real like a reflection of its characters and the story it tells. The comedy is not as straight-forward; it is rather awkward at times and yet it still captures your attention and your laughter of course. The only qualm we have is the somewhat disjointed ending with what we thought was the film's message. We really think Matt King should have sold the land to really show that he has moved from his old life, from his old wife and from his own demons. But it's really a minor concern which can really change from person to person. "The Descendants" is not only a great film per se but it is also a film that will make you re-think your own life and the choices you have made. It is a film that leads us to hope that even with all of curveballs that life may throw us, we can still overcome these and become better.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- great story and even better characters make this film an interesting watch
- the humor is not as straight-forward but it also has its own unique style that works

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the ending was somewhat disjointed with the overall message of the film

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