Despite not having seen Bradley Coopers and Jennifer Lawrences’ last film with them both being leads I still wanted to see Serena. This pair of actors have something special about them and whilst I may not enjoy ever film they produce they always manage to intrigue me in whatever projects they are involved it, and this time it was Serena.
For me Serena was a film of two halves. However before we get into that I have to comment on the title of this film, it already irritates me frequently when a film is named after a characters name. On occasions it can be appropriate however generally I just find it unimaginative and lazy. In this instance I wouldn’t even say that Serena was the main character, so for me the film may as well have been called George. Anyway, the first half of the film was the half that I thought was poor. The beginning of this film wasn’t done well at all, several scenes featured seemed to have next to no point and there wasn’t a smooth transition between these scenes leaving the film disjointed and the viewer disconnected. When the two main characters, George and Serena, meet the scenes that follow are ridiculously rushed. It made no sense to me to feature these scenes and I think the film could have benefited from starting when the pair were married instead of hurrying through this stage. This first half reminded me of those awful novels that you had to read in English at school and I was really wondering how I could stay awake through another hour of this drivel.
However then things took a surprising turn for the better as events and plot points began to piece together to create something more exciting. A certain tension seemed to arise from nowhere at all but it was most welcome. After this shift my issues with boredom were no more and I was completely engaged with the movie. As to be expected both of the leads give great performances and they really come into their own in this second half. Serena started off simply being about the logging industry but ends up being much more developed and boasting an interesting plot. The film settles into itself here and the issues with transition and pointless scenes thankfully disappear. Some elements of the plot were predictable however that isn’t to say that they were not effective as there really were two or three moments in the movie which really enthralled me and some even making me gasp.
Serena starts awfully and really made it difficult for itself to salvage anything from its poor beginnings however about half way through the film it almost seems to realise just how awful it has been and decides to improve upon itself. The film picks up wonderfully and shows just what it could have been however its mistakes earlier in the film do hold it back from being a great movie, ending up just being something quite interesting that ruined its potential. Still a very good second half though with some brilliant moments acted very well.
BIGGEST FLAW – The entire first half
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – The level of tension that was achieved despite the earlier mistakes
Rating – 6.5/10