What is the story about?
Linda and Paxton are an unhappily-married couple who are stuck at home in London during the lockdown. While Paxton has been furloughed from work, Linda has had the unfortunate experience of having to fire people from work. Faced with financial troubles, an opportunity to rob jewellery from London’s best-known departmental store presents itself. Can Linda and Paxton pull it off and save their marriage?
Once in a while, there comes such a high-profile film, complete with a bevy of stars, that is marketed very well—and then later it turns out to be the most soul-numbing experience possible as a movie. It’s hard to believe that Doug Liman is the same person who directed the crackling Mr and Mrs Smith. Here, he has to fall back on Steven Knight’s screenplay, which reads and sounds like it was written while experimenting with drugs. The tone of the film is all over the place—you want to laugh at the dramatic bits, you want to cry at the funny bits, and the heist element, that comes quite late in the film, is a non-starter. To top it all, the dialogues are insufferable. This film is tone-deaf when it comes to understanding privilege, because it lives in it, and the lockdown is only an excuse for flexing some thoughts on how “everyone has it hard”. You begin to fear that if you have to hear more about Paxton’s existential anguish, Nietzsche, Sartre and Camus will rise from their graves, and that’s not the image you want to conjure in your head while watching a “heist comedy”.
For someone who has great comic timing, it is sad to see Anne Hathaway reduced to a bored, disinterested caricature here. Chiwitel Ejiofor is a terrific actor, but he is hamstrung by the dialogues, and it feels he’s quoting lines from Hamlet rather than conveying his mental turmoil. There are minor turns by a number of high-profile actors, but they are all lacklustre.
Music & Other Departments
Remi Adefarasin’s camerawork is the only good thing, especially during the heist portions, though he does go overboard with all the ultra-wide shots. John Powell’s score is okay. Saar Klein’s editing could have been better.
The over-sermonizing dialogues by all parties get to your nerves from the first five minutes onwards.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?