By Loong Wai Ting
AT a recent roundtable discussion with my fellow team mates on Zac Efron’s up and coming hit Charlie St. Cloud, most of them gave comments like “That boy can act?” or “Zac, who?”
Oh well, one thing for sure, Efron is no Saint…yet. But he’s getting there considering he has “moved on” from his debut characters in High School Musical. His performance in Charlie St. Cloud is one of his best by far –as he breezes through the emotional scenes almost effortlessly and here, he tackles one of the toughest roles eminently better than High School Musical.
First of all, Charlie St. Cloud isn’t the name of some exotic, fancy island off the coast of the Bahamas. Based on the critically-acclaimed novel (The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud) by Ben Sherwood, the movie is about how Charlie (Zac Efron) was given a second chance in life to amend the things in his life after the untimely death of his younger brother, Sam (Charlie Tahan).
Not being able to let go, Charlie conceded his dreams for a bright future ahead and stays limbo where him and his brother meet every day for games and fun.
Five years later, he meets with former classmate, Tess (Amanda Crew) and then falls for her causing him to choose between coming to terms with the death of his brother or moving forward with his relationship with Tess.
Charlie St. Cloud explores the many life concerns –like learning how to let go and hope. The definition for love has an abundant of meanings, and one of them being brotherly love.
That’s exactly what director Burr Steers (17 Again) wants you feel and if you were given the chance, experience. The ‘blood-is-thicker-than-water’ tale is both heavy and heartbreaking. It’s like another version of Rodrigo Garcia’s Passenger. The only thing is; the film is creamed thickly with everything American, like baseball, enlisting in the army right after high school and seeing friends perished in the Iraq war and receiving guests from beyond the grave.
The movie is uplifting and but it has its bittersweet moments. Although the supernatural element can be seen throughout the movie, it serves more as a metaphor than horror. No doubt, the movie is targeted towards viewers in their teens to the young adults who would personally prefer tear-jerking romance over hair-raising scares.
Nevertheless, Charlie St. Cloud is honest enough to win the attention of the last few sceptical audiences. Give this a go if you like melodramatic situation in comparison to less serious with ever so predictable happy endings –and of course, Zac Efron.