"Daniel Graham’s feature directorial debut is a unique film that is at times difficult to engage with, but it remains an interesting and ambitious work"
With its small cast and philosophical musings, Daniel Graham’s feature directorial debut is a unique film that is at times difficult to engage with, but it remains an interesting and ambitious work.
Willem Defoe stars as Paul, a classical music composer who travels to a remote Mexican village following the death of his father. He comes across the photo of a woman whom his father may well have known and sets on a journey through the village to try and locate her.
Thematically, the notion of existence and ending come into play as Paul wrestles with his goal of completing an unfinished symphony and the idea that one’s life will end, but will never be complete.
It’s a relatively bleak outlook, but Graham manages to keep any melodrama or depressing overtones in check, filtering the plotline through Defoe’s typically smart central performance.
It does struggle to maintain interest at times with the central plot not involving as it might, but Graham and cinematographer Matias Penachino make great use of the location utilising locked off, single takes creating a smart aesthetic.
As the plot unveils, the themes and reality merge with some seemingly supernatural plot beats that the films gets away with, resulting in a film that, while not flawless, is certainly thought-provoking.