Only last week was Shia LaBeouf quoting bible verses in amidst all the action that came with being a crew member of a WWII tank in war drama Fury. This week sees him running around the streets of Bucharest after his new love interest only to get caught up with her vicious ex. I really enjoyed Fury, so was LaBeouf able to do the same again this week?
He really was as I thoroughly enjoyed Charlie Countryman. This film falls under several genres; romance, drama, comedy and thriller. This is often a problem for films as they can never quite seem to handle this variation or chose the right focus for the film, this wasn’t a problem at all here as all of the genres played well off each other and I was actually engaged with all aspects of the film. Frequent readers of my blog will know that I am not the biggest fan of romance in films, I think it has become so poorly portrayed in films and in a way that just isn’t interesting. Charlie Countryman was able to give me hope in terms of this element as it was done so well. The film manages to capture the feelings of Charlie as he falls in love so brilliantly, they do it through music, facial expressions and sequences in the film. There isn’t an ounce of sop in there and it felt great to actually be able to engage in this element without rolling my eyes or dismissing it as boring. Credit to LaBeouf as his performance was responsible for a lot of this engagement as he was so believable in this role and you actually were routing for him (and that is saying something when you think of how he is portrayed in the media).
Mads Mikkelsen also performs well as the films villain. Casino Royale is the only other film I have seen Mikkelsen in and here he plays the villain too, so I honestly had no doubt he would be good for the role. He was brilliant and brought a particular menace to the role and played an intricate part in bringing tension to the film. I wasn’t too fond of James Buckley or Rupert Grints roles however they did contribute to the wackiness of the film as at times it was quite odd, a good kind of odd though. Melissa Leo was a good addition to the cast too and although she seemed underused if she had of been in this movie more than she was I don’t think her involvement would have been as effective. The film sports one of the best soundtracks this year and contributes well to the feel of the film and helped certain sequences really achieve the purpose that they were striving for. It ties the whole film together perfectly and reminded me of the success that Drive’s soundtrack had for the film, not because they are similar but just because they both work so well in the film. Charlie Countryman ends up being a quite random film and a little unconventional but hey I am up for anything and I really enjoyed it.
A wide variety of genres really pays off here as Charlie Countryman is able to weave them all together effortlessly. Combine this with strong performances from all of the lead actors and actresses, throw in a killer soundtrack and with a running time that isn’t even two hours you never get the chance to even think of becoming bored and you end up with a pretty awesome film.
BIGGEST FLAW – Possibly the casting of Buckley and Grint
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Just how well all the elements of the film blended together
Rating – 9/10