‘A Ghost Story’ Blu-ray Review: Rooney Mara Shines In Slow But Emotional Homecoming Story
Director David Lowery has a small but impressive cinematic track record. The aptly titled A Ghost Story is his latest film, which released on Blu-ray this fall. Does it continue his impressive streak or is it a waste of time?
A GHOST STORY BLU-RAY REVIEW
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star in the film respectively as C and M, a young couple living together in an unassuming house nestled in the suburbs. While they do exhibit affection for each other, they’re currently undergoing a disagreement; M wants to move, whereas C wants to remain in their current dwelling, citing “history” as his reason.
C, who soon becomes the film’s titular ghost, is fatally wounded in an accident. M sees his corpse at the hospital, covering it with a white bedsheet. After a prolonged period of time, C rises from his bed under the sheet, which gained two black holes to represent his eyes. The hospital’s staff and patients are unable to see C’s ghost as he wonders through the hallway, and although a supernatural white door of light manifests itself to C, he rejects it, instead electing to go home.
An emotionally distraught M is still living in their home, mourning her partner’s death. C watches, unable to directly interact with her, although he does become acquainted with an unnamed female ghost occupying the neighboring house. She explains how she’s still there waiting for someone, although she’s unable to recall who. Regardless, M begins to move on with her life, evidentially having met a new man – C doesn’t take this well, with his jealously causing the lights to violently flicker and some books to fall – and eventually decides to finally move. M has a habit of leaving a note behind wherever she lives in case she ever returns, and her last action before leaving is to leave one lodged in a gap in the wall. C is unable to retrieve it despite continually attempting to throughout the remainder of the film.
A Hispanic family – specifically a mother and her two little kids – move into the house, which the territorial C doesn’t appreciate. He eventually makes his presence known to the kids before scaring the threesome out. We soon cut to a party being hosted by the next person to purchase the building, with a man discussing the finite nature of humanity and progress. Everyone soon notices the lights start flickering…
A considerable amount of time must have passed – a metric for determining how much time is never given – as we then witness C’s former house in a dilapidated state, with him still gnawing away at the wall to try and unearth M’s note. A construction crew tears down his abode, along with his neighbor’s, and soon begin erecting a futuristic skyscraper. C’s story continues, however, and A Ghost Story resolves its tale well, bringing the whole story together in an organic way. You’ll likely see the ending coming, but that won’t detract from its somber feeling.
A Ghost Story renders a well-crafted sensation of loneliness. C is unable to verbally speak following his death, meaning the movie’s dialog is minimalistic and limited, accentuating the ambience. Additionally, C’s loyalty to his home and his desire to learn his partner’s final message was communicated beautifully through the camera work. A Ghost Story’s thoughtful cinematography and 1.66:1 aspect ratio gives the audience a hint of the constricted feeling C endured. A Ghost Story’s subtly and snail-like pace may render it unenjoyable to a wider audience, but it’s a unique passion project worth watching for those looking for something a little more emotionally resonant.
The Blu-ray’s special features are entertaining, even if there isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking. A 20-minute discussion concerning the making of the film is the highlight, and it’s required reading if you enjoyed the film proper. Likewise, a 4.37-minute feature discoursing the creation of the film’s soundtrack is also worth a look. Therein, Daniel Hart discusses his collaboration with Lowery. A commentary track for the movie, a deleted scene and trailers for five other films round off the extras.