September 16, 2015

Gabriel (2014)

Gabriel (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: Lou Howe
Country: USA

Movie Review: Well explored in its thematic and evincing a doleful temperament, “Gabriel” is a crushing drama directed by Lou Howe and starring Rory Culkin as the title character, a psychotic young man who struggles to find some meaning in a life that has been tough to him since he was a kid. The opening scene, where Gabriel, traveling in a bus, offers a cigarette to a little girl and then replies ‘we’re just fucking around’ to her mother when she asks what he was doing, is perfectly demonstrative of how this affected character can behave. Anxious, shaky, and sometimes insolent, the fatherless Gabriel delays the re-encounter with his worried mother and exemplary brother, just to try to find Alice, a former girlfriend whom he wants to marry with, even if he doesn’t see her for a couple of years. This fixation drives him to actions whose consequences are not less than devastating. Before that, there’s time for him to feel overwhelmed and act strangely in front of his family, repeating ‘I’m not my dad’. This statement comes from the fact that he blames his mother and brother for the suicide of his father, the main cause of his trauma. Only his grandmother patiently calms him down for brief periods and forgives his reproachable posture. In turn, his mother, despite acting endearingly, is not much of a help, especially when she says: ‘I couldn’t fix your dad after trying for so many years. And I can’t fix you either’. It’s sad to realize that Gabriel can’t have his own space, as well as the assistance he needs to revitalize his confidence and build the future he dreams – ‘I just want to live like a normal person; have a job, a wife, a life!’. Even so, on a darker scenario, it’s also sad that his urgent actions don’t have an acceptable fundament, being just a desperate attempt to stop the anguish and the restlessness that never leave him. Is Alice the real solution for his displacement? Rory Culkin gives one of the best performances of his career, conveying a believable, painful delirium that is hard to forget.

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