Sunset Song Review

Genre: Drama
Year: 2016
Runtime: 135 minutes
Rating: MA
Main Cast: Agyness Deyn
Peter Mullan
Kevin Guthrie
Written and directed by Terrance Davis

sunset-song-poster

Written by Nelson Cumming
Movies rarely leave me just sitting there in awe, peacefully taking in what I just witnessed by the end. This was a movie I wanted to see for months now and viewing it matched the level of anticipation. Sunset Song is a movie that seamlessly embeds itself into a story of struggle, life, and loss. It is also a great coming of age film. It is a rare feat that a movie makes you feel that you have experienced that life for yourself.

All of this is done through Terrance Davis’ direction and how he envisions his character developments being influenced by the historical events that play a subtle but major part throughout the plot. It is also helped by the good acting as well. There isn’t a bad performance.

Sunset Song is set in Scotland and starts just before the First World War. It tells the story about a country girl called Chris (Agyness Deyn) who aspires to become a teacher but events in her life take her another way. She is presented as the solid foundation for the film as the people that live with her leave, some return and some don’t. She leaves a mark on each person she lives with and they return in kind.

Above all else, Sunset Song is a film about enduring through suffering, the suffering that makes us learn and mature. It is a story about people who are victims of circumstance and the one woman who deals with it. This is a memorable film fit with so many memorable sequences including a long take that involves woman’s brother who is constantly whipped by her father but never utters a cry, and in doing so, stood up to the abusive relationship he had. Another that was an overhead shot of No Man’s Land where you know a war was fought and you felt the loss of soldiers lives even if you didn’t see the fight.

Another great thing about the movie is the pacing. The pacing is deliberately done slowly. The filmmakers give everything the time it needs for us to sink in the atmosphere and through slow camera moments and fading. It made events in the movie feel seamless The last half an hour of Sunset Song felt like one whole stretch of film despite the fact it is set in two different places. It was just a beautiful piece of filmmaking.

Sunset Song just keeps building up the momentum it needs to make a great film. It starts off ok before going to good, then great, then fantastic. It’s memorable from the first shot where sh is lying on the ground in a field of wheat to the final shot from a Scotsman playing the bagpipes to remember the departed ****1/4

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