“Suburbicon” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

8 November, 2017

Director: George Clooney
Screenwriters: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Director of Photography: Robert Elswit
Matt DamonJulianne MooreOscar Isaac

Synopsis: A middle class family living in an idyllic suburban neighbourhood struggle to evade suspicion after a domestic incident leaves one of their family members dead.

Suburbicon Review:

The muttonhead alternative to a number of neighbourhood classics, “Suburbicon” sees yet another hiccup from born-again filmmaker George Clooney who directs a dead-on-arrival film barely worthy of mention in the same breath as cinematic joys like “American Beauty”, “The Truman Show”, and “Pleasantville”. A pallid examination of American suburbia reliant on the all-too-conventional shift from cosy living to residential chaos, “Suburbicon” allows itself to become a voluntary outcast in the social commentary sub-genre, skewing pseudo-sociology into a tale of divided populations and self-serving ideals where action overrides reason behind the frenzy of private and public ruination.

Barely a Coen movie yet driven mad by the baggage that comes with the brothers’ distinctive filmography, “Suburbicon” fancies itself as a dark comedy but fumbles the ball, staggering from one predicament to the next with a gormless sense of direction. Placing white picket fences as far as the eye can see and lighting a torch under the backside of a sheltered community, the movie exhibits the subtlety of an atomic bomb after an African American family up sticks and shatter a whitewashed paradise, leaving viewers to roll their eyes at ham-fisted depictions of race relations and insular turmoil.

Almost immediately sinking into a muddled mess with a simplistic and predictable story-line, “Suburbicon” jumbles its message of ignorance and blinkered mania, becoming inanely dull with its infantile interpretation of what was once a far more promising and insightful screenplay. Butchered by Clooney’s flat and simplistic direction, the movie spends little-to-no time figuring itself out in a film happy to run with famous faces and half-baked ideas; aiming for billboards yet failing to unpack the darkness in its own soul. In the end, the movie’s overused concepts feel like a slap in the face for those who signed up for something more than a gimmicky tale of behind-closed-doors hysteria.


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