Film : Louder Than Bombs
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Isabelle Huppert & Jesse Eisenberg.
Director: Joachim Trier.
A famous war photographer – “Isabelle”/Mother
A former actor turned, teacher – “Gene”/ Father
A young man who’s trying to get a hold of his responsibilities- “Jonah”/Elder son
An introverted teenager – “Conard”/Younger son
A tragedy strikes. The mother/Isabelle ( the famed war photographer) dies in a car accident.
3 years, later…
These 3 men are trying to cope up with their loss. New details emerge from the death, and how these 3 men deal with it forms the crux of the story.
The dynamics between these three men are now very different.
Much more than that, they have their own issues to deal with it.
Gene begins to have an affair, with his younger son’s teacher. She’s a lady much much younger to him. He is also at the same time very concerned about his younger son. So he ends up getting too much into his space.
Jonah seems to be struggling with his newly found fatherhood. He is also not sure about his marriage , He subtly tries to avoid his wife, whenever he can. He’s doesn’t know how to deal with either fatherhood or marriage.
The younger son- Conard has completely withdrawn himself from reality. He prefers playing video games on his PC instead. He doesn’t talk at all to his father, and there is a huge communication gap between the two. He likes a girl in class, but he’s too shy to even talk/approach her..
3 years after the tragedy, Jonah comes home to visit his dad and little brother. There is an article which is going to be written about Isabelle (wife/mother). The incomplete work/photos of Isabelle has to be re-looked by the family, before giving it to a journalist/friend who is to write the article.
Memories of the past keep popping up.
Everybody has had a different relationship with Isabelle. Jonah recollects the time when his mother found solace visiting him during his college.
The Younger son, always missed playing hide n seek with his mom, and immensely missed her warm hugs.
Gene had a different relationship altogether, as Isabelle used to keep travelling from one place to another. Her passion for photography was so strong, that sometimes there used to be days when she wasn’t at home. They used to have occasional rifts regarding her travelling for work,
& when Isabelle was home, she sort of had this strange feeling and thinking why she isn’t out clicking photos instead . It took her time to adjust to the environment of home, even though she loved her family very much.
This is a slow brewing film. Every emotion, every action , every frame has been very sensitively dealt with.
The scenes bring out the raw emotions from the actors. The conflicts of the characters are internal. There are no heavy crying scenes, or scenes where the characters are screaming at each other.
The film is an intersection of grief and memories. Life will keep moving on, it’s how one moves along with it.
Isabelle Played by the beautiful Isabelle Huppert is mesmerising. She appears only in flashbacks of the film. Her look, her eyes, the way she talks, and her passion as a photographer is very well depicted.
Gene played by Gabriel Byrne , does complete justice to his character. He portrays the emotions of a troubled father/husband beautifully. He plays the most understanding character in the film.
Jonah played by Jesse Eisenberg , gives a brilliant performance. He conveys every emotion through his body language. His confusion on dealing with responsibilities would be relatable to every young person out there.
Conard played by Devin Druid is the surprise package of the film. He plays the introverted teenager perfectly. There’s a scene in the film where Jonah gets to know more about his brother by reading a write up on conard’s PC which reveals what exactly runs in the mind of Conard. This scene will definitely blow you away.
The screenplay of the film has internal monologues of all the characters, which is what sets it apart from the rest. There are no major conflicts nor there is an intense resolution in the film.
The camera work is phenomenal. No! it’s not the stunning visuals, but a stunning view to how humans are and can be. The camera work gets into the personal spaces of these characters.
The family drama is carefully crafted by Joachim Trier. Its like a beautiful painting with strokes of black, white & colour all over, but these aren’t just random strokes, Every stroke has a reason and has a meaning.
If you want to watch a drama, without all the melodrama , go ahead and give this one a look!
Watch the trailer here: