Movie Review: The Age of Adaline

Blake Lively is the only reason I watched this movie. To be honest, I always thought she was stunning, but after her marriage to Ryan Reynolds, I realised that she is a hilarious being in her own right. I even sat through 6 seasons of Gossip Girl because of it, although that was also partially due to the unbelievable clothes too.

The Age of Adaline has been on my radar for a while, so when it appeared on Netflix, I decided to jump in right away.

Story: Adaline was born a normal baby, grew to be a normal little lady, and reached her 29th year of existence in relative normalcy. She got married to a man, had a baby girl, and their lives proceeded along their natural courses for a few years. Then she loses her husband in an accident, and shortly thereafter she meets with a fatal car crash herself. She is plunged into freezing water, and her heart stops. A bolt of lightning strikes her car, and thus her, in about 2 minutes and her heart is reanimated. She is 29 years old at the time, and the year is 1937.

In present day 2015, Adaline is still 29 years old. She has changed her identity multiple times, and moves from place to place every 10 years, to avoid detection and possibly imprisonment. She is set to move once again, until Ellis Jones enters her life.

Review: The movie’s pace was too slow for my taste. There is very little mystery surrounding Adaline’s fantastical condition, and thus my interest waned after the first half an hour. Essentially the movie is a dramatic love story with a twist of one element; it otherwise retains its immense predicability.

Story: I thought the overall premise of Adaline and her ability not to age (or curse, depending how you choose to look at it) was a fabulous one, and could have been explored in a multitude of ways. There are interesting touches to the narrative: the fact that she continues to dress modestly, well into the 21st century, is one that was immediately apparent. She is anachronistic for this age, and in spite of seeing several decades go by, her core nature remains unchanged. Her mien is laced with a certain unexpressed fatigue, although she doesn’t come across as jaded.

I would have personally liked to see a broader depiction of the story, where her daughter ageing before her is explored in more detail. There is also minimum conflict between any of the characters, and those that do appear are resolved almost instantly.

Characters: Except for Adaline, the other characters are rather like living props. They exist solely to support this central character, and the only one that somewhat exists outside that boundary is Harrison Ford’s William Jones. The others could have been replaced with cardboard cutouts.

Acting: Exactly what I said about the characters, in the paragraph above, replacing Adaline with Blake Lively.

What I liked: The premise was interesting. The elements were also there to make for an excellent story, but were spread somewhat thinly across the movie. Also, I think is worth noting that Blake Lively is a masterful actress, whose approach to this role was betrays incredible intelligence.

What I disliked: Ultimately, it got boring. And predictable.

Rating: ✩✩

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