"Go With Me" by Daniel Alfredson (USA)
Venice Film Festival 2015 - Out Of Competition
Name: Marta Corato
It is curious to think that such an uninspired film comes from the brother of Tomas Alfredson, who in the last few years delivered stylish, acclaimed films like Let The Right One In and Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy.
Daniel Alfredson’s Go With Me falls short on every count, so much that the film is not even properly bad: it is just uninteresting, uncomplicated, all in all irrelevant.
In the depths of the Pacific Northwest, young woman Lillian returns to live in her hometown, only to be harassed and stalked by the local crime lord. She enlists two loggers from the area to track down the thug, Blackway, and “convince” him to stop tormenting her.
Go With Me starts on a strong note, with Julia Stiles giving her all as a woman who determined to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, as soon as her quest to find Blackway begins, the film becomes utterly predictable and with a plot so thin it is surprising that Alfredson managed to stretch the running time to 90 minutes.
The various supposedly high-tension scenes fail to convey any real sense of danger, which is a feat in itself, since Ray Liotta (who plays Blackway) always has a menacing presence. The only sequence that really extracts a reaction from the viewer sees Blackway assaulting Lillian in a parking lot.
Each character has a vaguely sketched past – half sentences, flashback fragments – that would be enough in a richer framework, but don’t do nearly enough to complement such a linear plot. Anthony Hopkins’ character in particular has a series of traumas – starting from his daughter’s suicide – that influence his behaviour in the movie, but they are so unclear it is hard to understand to what extent or why.
Possibly because of this lack of complexity, most of the actors don’t seem to have their heart in their parts, with the exception of Alexander Ludwig, who plays a shy, stuttering young man with nuance – especially when compared to the others. It is especially odd to consider that Anthony Hopkins is one of the film’s producers, but his performance is still mediocre at best.
While the redwoods of the Pacific Northwest provide a gorgeous backdrop to the narration, the visuals of the film are ultimately unstylish and impersonal. The camerawork and photography don’t really add anything to the film, which is a pity, considering how desperately the story needed some help.
All in all, Go With Me is not really offensive to the viewer because it is so bland: it has a lot of flaws, but they make the film so generic and uninteresting that it is hard to have any strong feelings about it. It is not unwatchable, but not interesting in any way either.