Recently I saw a small film called The Truth about Emanuel staring Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel. It’s about a seventeen year-old girl, Emanuel, living with her father and stepmother. Emanuel’s mother died when she was born and she blames herself for her death ever since. One day, a young single mother, played by Jessica Biel, moves in next door. Emanuel becomes fascinated with her as she finds a lot of resemblances with her mother.
The deal with this film is that it starts in an interesting way. There is a build-up, but once an important plot point is unveiled the story goes nowhere. The director who is also the writer didn’t know what to do with it. It becomes dull and out of focus and ruins what could have been an interesting tale about motherhood and loss. It has a talented cast, the cinematography is really beautiful, maybe too polished of a film, the soundtrack is melodious and haunting, but the story lacks any sense. By the end it becomes very stupid. The presumably interesting characters become dull and pathetic.
The acting is pretty decent. Kaya Scodelario gives a very good performance, she is a very talented up-and-coming actress who tries her best to make Emanuel interesting. Jessica Biel is also pretty good, something people don’t usually say about her, but her she is natural and the mother role suits her.
As I said before, the cinematography is gorgeous. There are some beautiful looking scenes like the water scene. The camera likes to just sit and observe Emanuel. The camera loves her.
The problem with this film is that it focuses too much on minor things about the characters, like how cool, inhibited, direct, strange, whatever you want to call it Emanuel is and doesn’t really add as much to her identity as it should have. It also didn’t focus that much on Jessica Biel’s character. Also, the ending is so stupid, breaking into a highly supervised institution has never been easier. Everything is episodic, Emanuel’s relationship with Claude, her boyfriend whom she meets on the train to school, doesn’t hold much of an importance to the story, it’s just there to add a love interest to the main character, just a filler.
The main idea is that it starts off many story lines but they are not continued and if they are, it’s not in a satisfactorily way. The ending is ridiculous, void of any emotional impact. A dull ending to a film that, if the story wouldn’t have gone off the rails, could have been something decent.
An usual case of potential wasted disastrously.