Charlie St. Cloud

October 19, 2010
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Some people may criticize Zac Efron’s acting jobs in the past from High School Musical to 17 Again, it may have seemed as though he was an untalented Disney clone, however his new leading role in Charlie St Cloud will diminish any low judgments of Efron’s acting abilities. It is clear that Efron is trying to become unbound from his clean slate Disney reputation by trying to gain more serious acting roles, which I hope this movie has successfully allowed him to accomplish.

Efron plays Charlie St. Cloud, a teenager on the progression of manhood, who is willowing in grief after the death of his younger brother, Sam, which he feels responsible for. Before the death of Sam, Charlie feels as though he is just an annoying little brat but he does love him although he doesn’t truly comprehend this until he dies. Previously Charlie had won a sailor scholarship to Stanford University, however, since he loves his brother so much, he gives up on this opportunity so he can be the caretaker at the graveyard where Sam is buried. Charlie had made a promise to Sam before he died saying that he would practise baseball with him everyday at sundown, until he leaves for University, Charlie continues his promise by meeting up with the spirit of the brother. By doing so it means that he gives up on living his own life and follows a continuous cycle so he could focus spending time with the spirit of his baby brother. The truth of this everlasting promise comes into question however when the girl who Charlie falls in love with, Tess, is lost out at sea. Will Charlie go and save Tess or will he carry out his promise to Sam?

Even though Efron’s performance is outstanding, there are other actors who should be appreciated, such as, Amanda Crew; who effectively performs as Tess Carroll, a sailor and Charlie’s love interest, also Augustus Prew; who plays the underdog of Alistair Wooley, Charlie’s best friend, and brings a few laughs to the quite depressing film. However, I wish we had more time to watch and understand Sam’s character, played by Charlie Tahan, especially at the beginning of the movie as his characterization was limited, not to say that he didn’t do a good job while he was on screen. What is very good about this movie is how it can easily play around with your emotions, from making you feel so sorry for the seemingly lost Charlie to making you feel angry at the actions that he takes. I’m sure that the creators of the film, for example, the director Bur Steers, have tried to pick out most of the powerful scenes from the book which the movie was adapted from by Ben Sherwood, in order to try and bring these emotions and morals to the viewers.

Charlie St. Cloud is a very beautiful, yet predictable teary film which focuses on the main themes of; life, death, haunted by the past and moving on. The film is let down however as it does not seriously flesh out and divulge into these themes, making them identically realistic, which I’m sure would have improved the film exceedingly. However, never the less, it is a good portrayal on the emotions that would be expressed with the death of a loved one and how to come to an understanding and evolve from these feelings. Another serious flaw with the film is how the start of the film is quite drawn out however the ending is just catapulted out to the finishing line and it feels as though the ending is missing a spark which was needed to create an everlasting impact. The film could relate to The Sixth Sense, with the way Charlie’s character could witness spirit’s the same as Cole Sear, however the plot was to quick paced to even come close to the brilliant standards of that movie which stared Haley Joel Osment. Efron continuously throughout the movie acted flawlessly and I believe that this will be the film that will allow him to truly digress from Disney and perform in more serious challenging acting roles.

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Lamb97 said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 1:26 pm
I love this movie. And I agree he's more than some disney clone. Any one who thinks that should whatch Charlie St.Cloud.
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