Like the Water follows Charlie, a young journalist, as she returns to her hometown of Camden, Maine to write the eulogy for her best friend, Katherine. Charlie's assignment unearths deep ... See full summary »
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Like the Water follows Charlie, a young journalist, as she returns to her hometown of Camden, Maine to write the eulogy for her best friend, Katherine. Charlie's assignment unearths deep feelings of guilt at not having been a better friend, which only fuel her long-standing resentment toward Katherine's girlfriend. On the eve of the memorial they are forced to confrontation, and Charlie goes too far. She must learn to pick up the pieces when words are not enough. This project was co-written by Caitlin FitzGerald (It's Complicated, Newlyweds, Taking Woodstock) and Caroling von Kuhn, the film's star and director respectively. It was produced, shot, and edited by a team of young women filmmakers on a micro-budget. Written by
Maine shines in promising, though flawed, first film
This made-in-Maine film had its world premiere at the Maine International Film Festival. Up-and-coming actress Caitlin Fitzgerald and first-time director Caroline von Kuhn teamed to write the script focusing on universal themes of friendship, loss, and grief. Fitzgerald has used her stomping ground of Midcoast Maine centered around Camden as the film's setting and this area in summertime is beautiful to behold. Cinematographer Eve Cohen takes full advantage of this setting. The film's storyline has twenty-something Charlie (Fitzgerald) returning home to give the eulogy for her longtime childhood friend Cat. Although it is conceivable that some film-goers may be able to use the details from their own death/loss experiences to access the film's themes, many may find the scriptwriters entirely too parsimonious in story details to become fully engaged in the film. Although these pieces of information may not be essential for the film to succeed in engaging their audience or essential to the story, addressing the circumstances of Cat's death or explaining why Charlie is doing the eulogy since she is clearly struggling with it would aid the audience in its "willful suspension of disbelief." These are just a couple of examples of information being withheld from the audience. The film does do well in those sequences when Charlie and her girlfriends reminisce about the adventures that they had with Cat while growing up. While it is clear that Charlie has a very strained relationship with Cat's lesbian lover Lola, only a few details emerge quite late in the film about the relationship between these three women and the film ends with a lot of questions still unanswered. Similarly themed films have used devices such as flashbacks, dream sequences, or voice-over to advance the story, but these were not used. Charlie does periodically experience flashes of memory, but the audience isn't allowed inside these experiences. As she fitfully works on the eulogy Charlie does post pictures and keepsakes on a board, but the audience observes this from an oblique angle that makes piecing together her relationship with her friend from it very challenging. The film's final scene feels tacked on and unearned. All in all, this is a promising first film that looks good and received some musical and other contributions from the local community that the filmmakers acknowledge were not budgeted items in their low budget film. However, it doesn't delve as deeply into its subject matter as it could have and there clearly are many directions the film could have gone in both how it told its story and where the story went.
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