05th Sep2018

‘Tully’ DVD Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Ron Livingston, Asher Miles Fallica, Lia Frankland, Mark Duplass, Elaine Tan, Elaine Tan, Gameela Wright, Tattiawna Jones, Maddie Dixon-Poirier, Joshua Pak | Written by Diablo Cody | Directed by Jason Reitman


Director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody and star Charlize Theron reteam after their semi-successful 2009 drama Young Adult, with another dramatic tale concerning the trials and tribulations of family and motherhood in that of Tully. A film that suffers from a final ten-minute reel that just about derails the interconnected tissue of events leading up to it. A similar issue, depending on one’s opinion that plagued and only affected the final product and initial entertainment of both 10 Cloverfield Lane and Split. Not completely cauterising the first two acts containing a heart wrenching and honest depiction of loneliness within motherhood, but drastically reducing them to a mere juvenile and condescending rebuttal on every single re-watch for all those who unfortunately are bare witness to a film that utilises a twist ending of sorts, that feels outrageously out of place and utterly tone deaf.

Theron puts forward another terrific performance that in the passing of time could be labelled of just one of many staple career-defining roles in her filmography. The dedication and appetite brought to her craft are echoed and evoked with sheer class. An actress and performer who is undoubtedly at the top of her game, yet clear the longing for performance is a burning passion. She is of course delightful. Theron’s character, Marlo is ever so naive and tragic, in a fierce, self-dependent and burnt out anxiety fuelled chaos of her life. She’s both formidable and helpless. A balance expertly resonated throughout by writer Diablo Cody and fortified with an expert conviction from Theron from page to screen. It never sugarcoats nor sweetness moments of pain and torment. The representation on screen at times is both equally sour and stunningly realistic, and in that becomes the films strongest moments of emotion expressed through a clear eye of honesty.

Reitman doesn’t necessarily inject much of his restraint nor specified humour into events, presumably taking the production as director on more-so to make sure it would get made, rather than have such terrific material lay dormant for decades, or in Hollywood’s case, in the hands of a female director, who is far more qualified to direct such a female conscious production in an era of Hollywood that is beginning to somewhat see a glimmer of common sense, however remains ever so shy and ignorant to the female form, and natural dynamics that make up a significant portion of both audiences and creators behind the camera.

As stated above Tully does go slightly astray with a Fight Club esque twist that feels far too out of place and slightly disrespectful to the issue that the film is trying to portray. Made more so controversial considering a certain representation of a child that suffers from a condition that is never overtly stated in the film, while ever so clear, making for what essentially is a plot device and never specifically identified as anything but a nuance feel both minimalised and victimised in the overall proceedings.

Tully is available on DVD and Digital now.


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