Bittersweet Symphony: Review. By Julius Tabel.
While the construction seems pretty weird, I actually found the beginning minutes to be very interesting. The characters are very likeable, and Adams (Director) leads the viewer into some uncomfortable situations which makes the story very relatable at first, but then “Bittersweet Symphony” drifts off in different directions and loses itself in its own ideas while trying to combine them. At the end, there is no pay-off and the entirety of the product feels vacuous.
Starting off, the protagonist ́s situation is projected way more difficult than it actually is, which is why this entire construction feels coincidental and highly illogical, but I found it to be very thought-provoking because of the weirdness and so I expected a turn of events to come after some time. So overall, you could pretty much say that “Bittersweet Symphony” will catch part of your interest at first. Furthermore, there is much character-depiction. Adams takes time to introduce the protagonists properly, so that the viewer has a good first impression of them. And this works pretty well, as the characters are in a specific way realistic, but definitely likeable and sympathetic. As a viewer, you will begin to predict what might happen, because characters don ́t act like they should. It ́s this suspense of the little things that grabs a bit of your attention and makes you curios.
But the longer you expect a twist in the plot, the more disappointed will you be. I personally expected the story to be quicker and more intense, but once you know the story, it will never change, unfortunately. So, if you won ́t like it after the first 15 minutes, then you won ́t like the entire film. And if you expect an intense increase, you won ́t like it either. Only if you are satisfied with the little things “Bittersweet Symphony” gives you, then you will be able to like it.
There is a bit of a climax at the end, that is actually very well made, but doesn ́t fit in the protagonist ́s overall story. The film loses focus on what it really wants to say. Part of that problem might be the very short runtime of only about 80 minutes, which maybe would have helped to give more background information about the direction in which the story goes. This way, you will find that you have gained nothing at the end. There is no ultimate statement, no pay-off, no satisfaction. It feels not finished.
“Bittersweet Symphony” is not a powerful film, and that is something everybody will agree on. But if that ́s so, then what ́s the point of all this? That was exactly my question when suddenly the credits roll, although I thought there will be convincing ending.
Imagine a film has two stories, and 80 percent of the film are about the first story, which means that you think you know where the focus of the film is, but then the ending is only about the other 20 percent of the second story. If you tell your story this way, it doesn ́t matter if these 20 percent are actually very well and convincingly portrayed, you won ́t have the viewer ́s interest. This film with a not interesting ending is “Bittersweet Symphony”. The events are truly emotional, but frankly nobody will care because of how the film introduced it.
All in all, “Bittersweet Symphony” has potential and I really tried to accept the construction it gave me, but it seems like it doesn ́t know itself what it actually wants to tell. This is why, you will be highly unsatisfied and will probably waste your time with the film. The characters may be sympathetic and it may actually be very well made, but the storytelling destroys your interest and will leave you cold.
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