The upside of raindrops

I caught The Upside of Anger a few nights ago, and I know this is an absolutely trivial thing to mention, but something about the opening scene caught my eye and tainted my view of everything that followed.

The film begins at a funeral that takes place on a rainy day, with a crane shot coming towards the circle of people sitting and standing around the gravesite. Then we get a series of close-ups and/or medium shots. And then we get a crane shot that seems to be pulling back … except, um, wait a minute, are those raindrops moving up the umbrellas? I found myself staring at one umbrella after another to see if the pattern repeated itself, and it did. What’s more, I think I even noticed the priest turning back a page.

So basically, they just took the earlier crane shot (or one like it) and rolled it backwards. Were they hoping we wouldn’t notice, I wonder? Or was it a very subtle way of indicating that the rest of the film would be one giant flashback…?

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).


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