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…?

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About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).


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