Review of Lavender

Lavender (I) (2016)
Decent Story But Sometimes It Tries Too Hard
26 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The story revolves around Jane (Abbie Cornish) - a young wife and mother of a young daughter who as the result of a car accident loses her memory, and as it slowly returns she finds herself being confronted by scattered memories of childhood trauma. The trauma is no surprise to the viewer. We're introduced (to a degree, but not to all the details) to what happened in the opening scenes of the movie. So that opening does serve as a bit of a hook. The movie sets you up to believe that Jane was responsible for what was shown. Which means that right from the start you know that's too simple an explanation. And having said that it's fair to say that the story is a little bit too simple. What finally comes out at the end of the movie - after an hour and a half of Jane struggling to recover her memories of that night - isn't really a surprise. If it wasn't Jane, there really only seemed to be one direction the story could move - and so it did. It's still a decent story. At times, though, it seems to try too hard to bulid some suspense and throw a bit of "shock" into a movie that really had little of either. But the background music and various scenes struggle to create suspense. At times it's mildly effective, but for the most part - well, not really. There's a bit of a supernatural element to this which has you wondering up to the last scenes. Is this actually a ghost story or is Jane just imagining some of the things that are happening? Is what seems to be supernatural really just the result of the repressed memory of the trauma finally being released? That does seem clarified at the very end.

It certainly isn't a bad movie. It's engaging enough for the most part although it does at times seem to drag just a little bit. The performances in this were so-so. I didn't think anyone in the cast really stood out. But I watched it from beginning to end and wanted to see how it all was going to turn out, and was especially concerned almost from the start with what would happen to Jane's young daughter Alice (one of the earlier roles for young Lola Flanery, who's more familiar from TV series such as Mary Kills People and The 100). (6/10)
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