By Mark Saldana
Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
Wander Darkly, in more ways than one, is an apt title for this film. For audiences, the film can feel like wandering around in the dark, looking for light and clarity. Writer/director Tara Miele disorients her audience quite effectively and often frustratingly. The journey does eventually delve into compelling and moving territory, but then end with a somewhat hackneyed reveal. That said, I almost enjoyed this film, but that is thanks mostly to the galvanizing performances by lead actors Sienna Miller and Diego Luna.
Miller and Luna star as Adrienne and Matteo, a romantic couple who has yet to make the big leap to marriage, despite the fact that they have recently birthed a baby girl. Even though they share a love and an emotional bond, the two lovers find themselves more and more at odds as their lives continue. After a major trauma affects them both, the disoriented Adrienne and the more sure-footed Matteo revisit their history together in a bizarre and surreal journey. As they go through key moments in the their relationship, they attempt to figure out what is best for their future.
The movie plays out like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind meets A Christmas Carol, but without the imaginations of Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, or Charles Dickens. I can actually forgive the lack of originality in this story. However, what is hard to ignore is the fact the movie doesn’t flow very smoothly and left me somewhat befuddled. Another problem is that the movie is supposed to be making a strong case as to why this couple should remain together and I feel that, while it does have its moments, it never completely convinces me.
As I stated above, both Sienna Miller and Diego Luna deliver great performances. Despite the limitations of the script, they performance earnestly and passionately. That is the main aspect of the movie what kept me compelled to keep watching. The other would have to be the mere curiosity behind the big mystery of it all. And that reveal left me more frustrated and irritated after all was said and done.
That said, I feel that even though this movie has some positive things going for it, and that it isn’t all horrible, I feel there just isn’t enough good here to justify me giving it a solid recommendation. As much as I like Sienna Miller and Diega Luna in this movie, I feel that their talents can be better appreciated in other better films. To be more fair to Tara Miele, she has a cool visual style and a flair for some dramatic and theatrical set pieces, but her script and story needed some major tweaking.