Daughter (2015)
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The Daughter (2015)






From a very early age, I’ve always enjoyed independent movies. While many of my friends restricted themselves to science fiction, action movies and westerns I can be found on the subway heading off to Greenwich Village to anyone numerous assortments you will of art houses. What always drew me to the independent movie was a unique way of handling character development. The most studio films the development of a character is a means to the end. The protagonist must obtain sufficient understanding of the prevalent situations in their environment to gain a degree of mastery over it. In contrast, the independent film, it is the journey, not the destination that truly matters. The exquisite manner of storytelling contained in how the story is related to the viewer. How much of the movie’s running time dedicated to developing the character even if much of what the character must learn doesn’t seem to be directly applicable to the current set of trials and tribulations? A phone such as this could have personal growth considered to be an adequate theme to explore. This is sufficient to state that adversity has honed their character; the poignancy of the story contained in its nuances, the minute details of the situation and interaction with all the characters that ultimately affect significant changes in the leading character. Many filmmakers can work with some extremely well known, lauded actors willing to make concessions their usual pay scale allowing some substantial talents to appear in movies of extremely modest resources. By permitting established actors to work alongside the next generation that will drive the future of cinema. With this background filmmaking can continue to progress, helping to ensure the continuation of the cinematic arts. Very often the very strengths of the independent film are viewed as heavily contributing to mainstream audiences avoiding those movies. Focus on character development and a penchant for deliberately paced exposition and movement of the story is opposed to the social program need instant gratification and rapidly changing stimuli. The use of special effects had made this possible but is modestly realistic of these computer constructs may be, special effects should be the spice and an elegant meal, not the main course. A film that epitomizes the nuanced grace of the independent film is under consideration here, ‘The Daughter.'

Christian Nielsen (Paul Schneider) is an Australian who had been living in the United States for a substantial period. The wedding of Henry (Geoffrey Rush) his father becomes his motivation for the return trip home. Traditionally, weddings have always provided a fertile ground for familial drama in the disclosure of some actions considered scandalous by at least some factions of the family. When Christian returns to Australia, he discovers such a set of circumstances guaranteed to make the entire event uncomfortable. Christian’s childhood best friend, Oliver Finch (Ewen Leslie) has married a woman, Charlotte (Miranda Otto). Some years ago Charlotte had an affair with Henry which resulted in the birth of a daughter, Hedvig (Odessa Young). Interwoven within this plot familiar to any devotee of soap operas is another trope that appears with great frequency. Henry is marrying his younger housekeeper, Anna (Anna Torv). This suitably involved set of circumstances quickly sparks the main impetus for the movie. Understandably, Oliver’s reaction is intense, leaving the Charlotte and completely disowning Hedvig. The girl turns to her grandpa the shotgun as a means to attempt suicide. As a necessity for the continuation of the story the distraught girl survives. An important corollary to this incident is that the hospital where the young woman is recuperating for the location for the reunion Oliver in Charlotte to have a discussion concerning the events.

By current Hollywood standards, this synopsis daily seems sufficient as a basis for a feature film. This is real brilliance, and the necessity for independent movies is most readily observable. Movies such as this are intended to delve into the psychological and emotional motivation for the actions we collectively referred to as human behavior. But a story is defined by the emotional journey of its characters the importance of the character can be ascertained quite accurately by how much is revealed to the audience. Within the context of this movie Oliver and Hedvig receive the most significant attention in a fully rounded out as completely formed personalities. This is proper considering the dramatic pivot upon which the story driven by the effect of the revelation surrounding the young woman’s birth. She has to learn to contend with accepting the fact that she always considered being her father was not a biological parent and that her very existence as a result of an immoral relationship. For suddenly Oliver has to wrap his mind around the reality that his loving wife cheated on him and withheld the truth about their daughter her entire life. The other characters in this drama are crucial for relating this story to the audience the crux of the tale is the complex interaction between a man and the young woman he always believed to be his daughter.

Ewen Leslie rises to the challenge of a role that is akin to an iceberg. Much of the personality of the character was hidden just beneath the veneer that he exposes to the public, specifically his family. Mr. Leslie is a journeyman actor with the experience and autistic control necessary to infuse the critical nuances into his character. Best known for his Austrailian television work most was series that will be popular, well-written and excellent examples of serialized drama. For an enterprising young actor, it is evident that Mr. Leslie paid attention during the construction of his various parts of his numerous television appearances. He has developed an understanding of human motivation most importantly the psychological and emotional components that take a character from words on the page to a realistic character that the audience can and identify with readily. Oliver had been living a reasonably content life. Employed by the local mill, he was emotionally supported by a happy relationship with his wife, Charlotte and their daughter, Hedvig. Ancillary themes within the story further expand the audience’s understanding of all of Oliver. His father, Walter (Sam Neil) released from prison has come back home to live on their property. There he cares for various animals, some of which are injured, creating an ad hoc zoo. The simple addition to the story reveals volumes about this secondary character that after this surviving rough environment prison terms to helping damaged animals.

Before the big revelation, Hedvig was a reasonably happy and optimistic teenage girl. This place against the typical Hollywood reinforced stereotype of the sullen and moody teen, replacing it with the young woman with a balance emotional and psychological worldview. This affords an interesting juxtaposition as we watch the escalating effects of everything she thought she knew as true being back from underneath. Ms. Young is compelling is the presentation of the titular daughter. It is fascinating to watch such a young actress take such command of the screen in every seeing that she appears. A resume is similar to that of work, Mr. Leslie. There is some overlap in their experience particularly an Australian soap opera, ‘Wonderland.' As noted one of the most vital aspects of an independent film is that it allows the relatively new artist to work alongside some of the best and most seasoned professionals in their field. The inclusion of Geoffrey Rush ' exemplified a feeling held by a growing number of established actors. They’re willing to participate in smaller projects, frequently follows the minimum salary demands, driven by the commitment to the artistry. Mr. Rush has an illustrious career including an Academy Award for ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role Family or may not have won that coveted Golden statue, but he is undoubtedly a doctor of considerable talent with an impressively eclectic range. Actors of such extrordinary reputations such as this help by grounding the production freeing the next generation of players to explore their characters fully. Overall this is a film that is gripping in his humanity even its flaws contribute to the believability and crafting of its characters.

Posted 04/17/2017

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