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James Le Gros,
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Anthology film created from two unaired episodes of Night Visions. A mental patient must not stop behaving in patterns. A maze on collage campus is actually a portal. A town fears music. A court employee can hear thoughts of one defendant.
After serving time in prison, Sonny returns to his coastal Florida hometown, where life and the residents haven't changed much, including the local crime boss, Vance, who owes Sonny some money. When Sonny goes to collect, he gets beaten up, then his house is blown up and his father is killed. Sonny, while seeking revenge against Vance and his crime gang, moves into the home of his old friend Dave, the local sheriff, and his nurse wife Ann, and their two children. Soon, a romance forms between the grieving Sonny and Ann. Written by
Dave makes a point of unloading his gun by locking the slide back and removing the magazine when he gets home from work. You can see when he does this that the gun was never loaded to start with. See more »
'Coastlines' is a film that draws you in with superb character development. It takes a methodical approach allowing the players on screen plenty of space to grow their characters. Through the first parts of the film I was riveted; not by flashy Hollywood gimmicks, but through the purity of each actor's performance and their course through the story.
The progression through the middle of the film maintains this steady hand, and we are introduced to branching story lines which keeps the viewer guessing at what's coming next. Is this a revenge film? Is it a story about friendship, or perhaps a story of betrayal? It never becomes clear as to what 'type' of movie you're watching, and this leads to a sense of anticipation as the film is rarely predictable.
I was waiting for some kind of dramatic conclusion near the end, or more appropriately, I was pondering what judgments the film would make on the morality of its characters. 'Coastlines' never makes any bold statements to this effect, however, besides perhaps the thematic allusions to unconditional love. The story takes a foray into complex adult themes without finding a coherent resolution, and I feel this was the bridge too far for 'Coastlines'.
If you are a patient viewer who appreciates the nuances of finely wrought character development then I encourage you to see this film... and draw your own conclusions.
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