Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tully is many things but it's not a comedy

Tully could be described as many things but I failed to see the goal of the movie to entertain you through laughs. Calling Tully a comedy and using the word hilarious to describe it makes me question if I watched the same movie. While the movie has some strong points of interests there were a few things that completely pulled me out the movie.
The style of Tully is dark and moody. The film has a dominant high contrast desaturated look to it. It focuses heavily on the mental breakdown of a mother struggling to raise 3 kids. Don’t expect any deep belly laughs in what could best be described as a drama with comedic elements solely to break tension. Be prepared for some shaky handheld cinematography and awkward camera angles.There is one scene where Marlo’s foot is framed towards the front of the camera like an homage to Tarinatino. Tully also uses a lot of jarring jump cuts that  makes the overall feel of the movie jarring and uneasy pulling away focus from the story itself. The scenes lose rhythm as they bounce with no cadence between each other in a collection of puzzle pieces from several boxes at Goodwill attempting to become something beautiful.

The performances of the actors in this movie is the strongest argument for its merits. Charlize Theron gives us a strong and often sympathetic look into the trials of motherhood as Marlo. Tully played by Mackenzie Davis is the night nanny hired by Craig to help Marlo get through the night. She was definitely well executed in this role. Her husband Drew is delivered really well as a clueless husband who doesn’t see the warning the signs of frail and exhausted Marlo due to his focus on the other kids and attempting to hold on to his own sanity. It’s strong support casts including Mark Duplass as Craig Marlo's brother are the main reason to watch this depressing and jumbled mess of a movie.

Over all it fails as a comedy but due to its strong casting and performances it becomes a mediocre drama. Seeing someone struggle with Postpartum issues and mental breakdowns in graphic detail doesn’t strike me as funny and they don’t portray it as such. Seeing a mother struggle with a son with mental health issues while dealing with her own demons also isn’t humorous either. There are some moments of comedic elements scattered about with the plot points and unresolved story arcs. Don’t expect jokes with set-ups, physical comedy one liners or punchlines. Expect a hard hitting drama with an odd flow and awkward execution. There a lot of stylistic pitfalls that are only tolerable from the strong acting of the cast. All the weight was put on the cast to carry the movie to to it's unsatisfying completion.

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