Saturday, September 12, 2015

Movie Review : The Park Bench

Remakes are so prevalent. There are times when I really fear for the future of entertainment, so it's always great to see something come along that makes you realize there is still some very original film-making out there.

The Park Bench is probably one of the most unique movies I've seen yet, with the story being told through a series of meetings on a park bench between a tutor and her student. Nicole Hayden (Mad Men) plays Emily, an uptight tutor who is at first reluctant to teach struggling Mateo (Walter Perez of The Avengers and Friday Night Lights). She wants to meet at a library, while he prefers that bench. He eventually talks her into taking him on as a student, and they get to work.

I really enjoyed seeing them poke fun at the sometimes too serious world of Literature while also exploring the characters, who are the only ones featured through the bulk of the film. Each cut leads to a new meeting at that bench, as they gradually learn more about each other and themselves. The film is interspersed with flashbacks and cartoon representations of these stories they share with each other.

I thought the actors did a great job of portraying the gradual shift in their relationship and their own behavior as each pulls the other just a little bit out of their comfort zone. I'd recommend this one for people who really love character pieces without a lot of action.