Thursday, 14 June 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close DVD Review

My husband and I love watching movies, we used to go to the cinema a lot before Ben was born but now that is not really an option, unless it is for a kids film, so we tend to catch up on movies when they get released on DVD. Therefore we were delighted when Warner Bros sent us one of their latest new releases, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is adapted from the acclaimed bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer,  and directed but the three-time Academy Award nominee Stephen Daldry to review.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, DVD

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is set in New York, a year on from the 9/11 bombings of the World Trade Center and tells the story of an eleven year old boy, Oskar Schell, whose father, Thomas, played by Tom Hanks, was one of the victims who died tragically. On the "worst day" as Oskar refer to 9/11, his father left five phone messages which he decided to keep secret from his mother. One day while looking through his father's possessions he finds an envelope with "Black" written on it and a key inside which sets him off on a quest across the city to find a lock which it fits.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close DVD
Oskar on his quest across New York
A big part of this story is the insight we get into Oskar's behaviour, he exhibits a lot of the traits of a child with Asperger's Syndrome although this is not confirmed in the film. It seems as though before his father's death, his relationship with him, and the things they did together kept these traits dumbed down. When speaking of the relationship between Thomas, Oskar's father, and his son, Tom Hanks says “I think Thomas wasn’t bothered at all by his son’s behaviors. Instead, he looked for ways to build bridges over Oskar’s turbulence, over his constant questions, his flights of fancy and his fears. Yet because of that, when he’s gone, it magnifies the incredible loss for Oskar even more.” In contrast Oskar seems to push his mother Linda, played by Sandra Bullock, further away following the "worst day". She, too dealing with grief at the loss of her husband tries to find ways to connect to her son although he is not even aware until the end.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close DVD
A tender moment between Oskar and his mother
This is a film which deals with a child's grief at the sudden loss of a parent in tragic situations. It examines a host of relationships from those between child and parent, grandparent and even strangers. The fact that Oskar shows behaviour akin to Asperger's Syndrome is an important part of the film. It didn't necessarily have to be set following 9/11 but it did help to put it in context for the viewer, as I doubt there is anyone who has not seen the horrific images from that day by now.

Thomas Horn, in the role of Oskar, was superb. He really did a fantastic job of portraying a child with Asperger's Syndrome which led to many moving moments. It is a pretty heart-wrenching story and I did have to reach for the tissues at times when it got quite sad but I enjoyed watching Oskar's journey. I felt for his mother, as I cannot imagine how hard it must be to deal with the grief of losing a husband and then have your child almost alienate you. The film is a great watch and I can definitely recommend it.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is available to purchase now from many retailers including Amazon with a Triple Play DVD, Blu-Ray and UltraViolet package option available. The film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for emotional thematic material, some disturbing images and language.

*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in exchange for a review but this has in no way biased my opinion.

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