Please don't let this be a love story

Credit: Gotham Group

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you’ll know I have a lady crush on Kristen Stewart. You can keep your Mila Kunis’s and Jennifer Lawrence’s, but for some reason I prefer this chain-smoking, foul-mouthed hobo to the rest. I know, I know, Mom, she’s gross and never washes her hair.

Her latest film Camp X-Ray recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to mixed reviews and a partial standing ovation. Written and directed by first-time director, Peter Sattler, it’s about a young soldier (Stewart) stationed at Guantanamo Bay. However things get messy when she befriends one of the detainees.

I really, really don’t want this to be a love story, or as The Guardian called it, a “platonic Romeo and Juliet”. Ugh. It would be eye-rollingly cliché. Even a debut director should know that. Make love not war!

Just… No.

I was skeptical when Sattler and the cast were claiming this movie is apolitical. That’s like when people were trying to market (500) Days of Summer as a “story about love” rather than a love story. X-Ray takes place in Gitmo. It’s inevitably going to be political. The fact that a soldier is befriending a detainee is already a statement in itself.

I’ve read several reviews of X-Ray, and the general consensus is that it’s decent but drags a bit until the final act, which packs a punch. Some couldn’t believe Stewart as a soldier while others praised her stoicism. The problem with choosing a “known” actor, especially one that’s been attached to a franchise for so many years is that the public has already formed an opinion of her. So if you expect her to “disappear” into a character, it would be easier to cast an unknown. But then it would be harder to green light a project too.

I’ll be attending Sundance London in April, and hope to catch a screening of the movie then. But we need to get the Oscars out of the way first.

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