Swan song review
swan Song (2021) Movie Review, a movie directed by Benjamin Clearly and featuring Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, Glenn Close, Nyasha Hatendi, Adam Beach, Lee Shorten, Dax Rey, Ace Levere, JayR Tinaco, Jessica Hayles, Luke Camilleri and Christine Freedom.
Set in the not-so-distant future, Benjamin Cleary’s new film, Swan song, features Mahershala Ali in the kind of lead role he deserves although the film is sometimes slow and the picture only occasionally lives up to the potential offered by its compelling premise. But, despite everything, Ali is an actor from an actor, and audiences will follow the character he plays in the new film, Cameron, until the film’s emotionally powerful conclusion.
Naomie Harris portrays Poppy, Cameron’s wife, and Harris has never looked better than in her fascinating work in this new film. The movie opens with their “cute meeting” on a train and these two characters are just played well and have great on-screen chemistry together. We want to see them together from the start thanks to the personalities of the two leading performers who are truly at the top of their game.
Soon Cameron finds out that he has a disease invading his brain and he will soon die. Cameron does not reveal this information to Poppy or their son Cory. Enter Dr. Scott (Glenn Close) who can clone Cameron with all of the same memories and feelings and send the clone to replace him and be with his family. There is a catch, however. Cameron cannot reveal that a clone would be sent to Poppy and Cory, so Cameron must remain silent if he is to complete this course of action.
It is complicated. The Cameron clone will ultimately never know that he is taking over Cameron’s life and so the family unit can hopefully continue for the best. For the real Cameron, however, there is heartache and suffering as he knows that he himself wouldn’t be there for his family, but rather for the clone. Granted, the clone is a duplicate of him, but it’s still a very touchy subject that the film presents to viewers.
Will Cameron tell Poppy (who is pregnant) that he is dying or will he allow her to have the security and love that the clone can bring her? This is the question that this film asks the viewer. It’s hard to predict which direction Cameron will turn next, but sometimes the plot moves quite slowly, so audiences want them to make up their minds a bit faster. However, the movie is more about Cameron than what will happen if Cameron comes up with the idea of the clone. Ali is a master craftsman who adds real depth to both Cameron and the Clone who are essentially the same character, but you’ll have to see the movie to find out for sure.
Awkwafina plays another patient of Dr. Scott, Kate, who finds herself in a situation similar to Cameron’s. She forms a bond with Cameron and their scenes together are well orchestrated. This is one of Awkwafina’s most dramatic roles and she struggles with it at times, although she ends up creating a believable character that is very different from the ones she has previously played in movies like The Great. The farewell. Awkwafina is decent here nonetheless, and we feel sympathy for her character’s predicament. Glenn Close, playing Dr. Scott is just OK, but she provides some of the reasoning behind Cameron’s potential choices through her dialogue here.
Swan song reminded me a bit Vanilla Sky sometimes with its formidable concept. Although in Vanilla Sky, the character of Tom Cruise is finally frozen, not cloned, the two main characters of these films find themselves in a very distinct dilemma concerning the future of their existences. Ali has the harder of the two roles because no matter what his character does, the original Cameron is going to be gone for good. However, he must do what is right for his family, but is it right? The film will make you search your own soul for answers. It’s a unique premise that is ultimately well played.
While Swan song is, at times, slow paced, it becomes difficult not to get emotionally invested in the material. Mahershala Ali is one of the best actors working today, so watching this movie is worth it, although it could have used more advantage in some scenes towards the end of the movie. Still, you’ll have a lot to say after seeing the tear of a sobering movie, Swan song.
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