By the Sea: Movie Review

If we could rate "By the Sea" by its cinematography and visuals alone, it would be top-notch, world-class even. Angelina Jolie succeeds in handily playing with the film's beautiful setting filmed in Malta. But "By the Sea" fails to make any head ways when it comes to its story. In fact, the film's stagnant mood and tone was quite alarming. Easy on the eyes but extremely hard to understand, "By the Sea" is more frustrating than intriguing.

A couple in the middle of dealing with unimaginable grief, who doesn't know how to cope, and whose marriage is being greatly tested by it, Roland (Brad Pitt) and Vanessa (Angelina Jolie) are still deeply in love with each other. Yet, this relationship has been temporarily derailed by loss, one to which they are reacting quite differently.

"By the Sea" takes it slow - probably too slow. While the film was able to put some mystery and intrigue with the shattered relationship of husband and wife Roland and Vanessa, the end twist wasn't worth the wait. If we could pinpoint positives for "By the Sea", it is the visuals and the acting. Visuals were wonderful - beautifully shot and exuding an artful tone. It was at times even thought-provoking; making you wonder what that shot might mean. The acting was also great. Angelina in particular helped put some life into a rather dull film. Her acting pushes the film further beyond its potential. Sadly, the story is its weakest point. The plot never really goes anywhere. The voyeurism portion, a little too weird and abrupt, to the point that it became funny. I'm sure Jolie wanted everything to be seriously taken but we couldn't help avoid how ridiculous things became. "By the Sea" is lost and that's our biggest problem with it. It's too silly to be an effective drama film. The romance part is mostly missing. Everything else is vaguely hidden in a film that tries to be too deep.

Rating: 2 reels

Why you should watch it:
- great visuals and vision from Angelina Jolie

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story is lost and frustratingly bad

Photos courtesy of United International Pictures.

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