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Movie Reviews

Charlie St Cloud



Released:10th July 2010

Director:Burr Steers

Stars:Zac Efron. Charlie Tahan. Amanda Crew


Reviewer: Luke Walkley

So, Zac Efron stars in his first major release since the High School Musical Series. While the series were hugely popular, they didn’t appeal to the masses and The Death and Life of Charlie St Cloud (Herein known as TDALOCSC, kidding, just Charlie St.Cloud) is a big step in the right direction towards being a credible actor.

Directed by Burr Steers, formerly of 17 Again and taken from the novel by Ben Sherwood. The film follows the life of, you guessed it, Charlie St Cloud (Efron). A College champion sailor, who overcome by grief caused by the death of his younger brother Sam (Charlie Tahan), gives up his passion to work in a graveyard so he can uphold the promise he made to his little brother, whom he is able to see despite his unfortunate situation of being dead, to play baseball with him, everyday at sunset. For Five years Charlie manages until he is torn between the promise and the girl, Tess, he is falling in love with.

The film itself is fast paced to begin with; tragedy befalls early on so that we witness the events that have unfolded in the time since Sam’s death. Charlie, now seemingly a recluse at the graveyard, meets Tess (Amanda Crew) and they hit it off almost instantly. She is set to sail around the world in the coming days and therefore we arrive at Charlie’s ultimatum.

It may sound similar to previous weepies, but the idea itself does show originality thanks to the novel it is based on. Charlie’s ability to see his dead brother also allows him the ability to those who are ‘passing through’. This point seems to lack any meaning early on but gains more significance through the film. A cameo from Ray Liotta as the paramedic who saves Charlie’s life after the car crash that killed Sam, leads to one of the films more emotional and well shot scenes.

The film itself is shot with beautiful scenery; this is the films catching point, using the sun and storms to cleverly reflect the mood of the story line. While some scenes cause a little confusion there is little wrong with the way the film flows.

Perhaps the films stumbling block is that it is unsure what it wants to be. While it is sad in places, it fails to reach the necessary amount to cause tears, while the nicer scenes immediately after take the main emphasis away from the darker

moments that precede it. With an unexpectedly clever storyline and some decent acting from Efron as well as Charlie Tahan who plays his little brother Sam brilliantly, this film goes some way to establishing Actor and Director Steers as worthwhile contenders for bigger projects. Despite this I found that the story and twists it entails carried the film through some of the lesser scenes. This is what causes the film itself to be average rather than something more.

The Life and Death of Charlie St Cloud certainly doesn’t die a painful death, however its lifeline is the story on which it was based.

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