Singular and daring in its subversion of the ghost story archetype which grasps towards existential ideals related to existence, time, and space, David Lowery's A Ghost Story is unfortunately not as profound, meditative, or transcendent as I would have hoped from such a talented young filmmaker, being a film in which I couldn't help but question whether it would have been far better served in the short form format. Centered around a recently deceased man whom returns home as a white-sheeted ghost to console his wife, Lowrey's film is a love story which transcends into a cosmic journey through time, encapsulating the the expansive nature of our existence through the perspective of this ghost, whose love is fleeting, oppressed by the enormity of time, soon only having his memories for solace. Make no mistake, A Ghost Story is extremely well made, with Lowney's once again showing an ingenuity in his direction, with perhaps the film's greatest strength being its bravery in letting the compositions linger longer than most contemporary American films, as Lowery understands the importance of letting the emotional and personal weight of the situation manifest in the audience's psyche, a wise decision that would have had more true effect if not for the film's surprisingly didactic screenplay. While a rare feat in a certain sense, A Ghost Story manages to be both minimalist in approach yet didactic in execution, with one scene in particularly literally spelling out to the audience the existential nature of the theme through a character monologue. Before this diatribe which happens approximately two thirds into this film, A Ghost Story was nothing particularly new or profound, but it did manage to capture the expansive nature of time itself, and in turn the importance of living every moment to the fullest, while also acknowledging the existential dread which accompanies the true insignificance and fragility of life. Unfortunately this unnecessary monologue didactically expresses much of these ideas, cheapening the minimalist and mysterious journey which put Lowrey craft and ingenuity in the spot light, with the film in the end leaving me wanting much more from an emotional perspective, as the intellectual nature of Lowrey's film, while brave and ingenious, scratches very little new ground when it comes to the existential nature and enormity of life itself. A Ghost Story which deserves some respect simply for its creativity and interest in metaphyics, David Lowrey's latest effort is a lot like his previous one, showcasing an unquestionably talented filmmaker who hasn't quite been able to put it all together yet.
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