After a personal tragedy pensioner Edith Moore decides to embark on a hiking trip in the Scottish Highlands in an attempt to make up for the regrets she has had about her life so far. ‘Edie’ tells this story, with the title character being played by English actress Shelia Hancock, but would she be able to make a film essentially about an old woman climbing a mountain entertaining? Already having done the rounds at the film festivals it would seem so however I doubt this will be an enjoyable cinematic trek for all.
We’ll deal with the more pleasant aspects of the film first though. Not since ‘Skyfall’ have the Scottish highlands looked so good. Cinematographer August Jakobsson has captured this area of natural beauty wonderfully and as a result is responsible for the strongest element of the film. This is closely followed by the performance from Hancock who gives a heartfelt turn as an elderly woman fighting to make something of her remaining years. The supporting cast are fine but it’s a real shame that the chemistry between them and Hancock doesn’t always work, often feeling forced. It’s not helpful that the main relationship showcased, between Edie and her mountain guide, Jonny (Kevin Guthrie), is poorly developed and cliched. Furthermore Jonny’s character arc is never fully resolved, although whilst this is somewhat of a flaw the lack of closure for this character does mean a swifter exit for the audience, and with ‘Edie’ being a real test of endurance this is no bad thing.
The bare bones of the narrative are good and it has the right spirit. It’s a warning about living your life to the fullest and never letting your age define what you can or can’t accomplish. This should be uplifting but the way in which it’s brought to the screen is quite the opposite. The film is really quite depressing, and whilst this is necessary to a point this tone just lingers far too long. In addition to this ‘Edie’ is simply just too boring to sustain the interest of its audience. This is so much the case that when Edie finally sets out on her ultimate climb you’ll just not care anymore, willing her to the top not to see her achieve her goal of living her life to the fullest but so that you can get on with living yours! Furthermore, the boredom experienced during the film causes irritation with other aspects of the film making. A repetitive musical theme that is used throughout, in itself is pleasant, but the continued exposure to it with the lack of any engaging narrative quickly grates on you. In a similar vein the constant featuring of close up slow motion shots just comes across as filling time rather than for any artistic or storytelling purpose. These shots are nice to look at but without a stimulating story to frame them they simply become another element to become annoyed with.
Therefore, despite having all the best intentions ‘Edie’ just isn’t anywhere near as uplifting as it thinks it is. Sheila Hancock and August Jakobsson prevent it from becoming a complete cinematic disaster but even with both of these artists giving their best the material simply isn’t there to craft anything especially worth your attention. The message and content of the narrative might have been better suited to a short film as both are lacking in the depth so desperately required to make this feature film work.
Written by Hamish Calvert
Rating – 3/10
Question: What is your favourite film which features mountains as a main setting?
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