Extremely sad and incredibly depressing
By Isa Hemphrey
This film is a heart wrenching tale of a little boy who lost his father (Tom Hanks) on 9/11.
Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) is a representation of those who are trying to make sense of that day (which the boy refers to as “the worst day”). Oskar is a very intense child who tries to reconnect with his father by searching for the lock to a key he finds in his father’s bedroom.
On his journey around New York a year after the terrorist attacks, he meets the weird and wonderful people of the big apple who share their experiences with him.
What is quite ingenious is that the film is consistently sad because the audience knows that there is nothing this boy could possibly find that will bring his father back. So you never really feel hopeful for Oskar, you just observe his struggle to come to terms with the fact that his father is dead.
You would have to be made of stone not to get very tearful at some of the key moments in this film (it is a 9/11 film after all). Yet the storyline strikes as being too horrible. It’s like all the saddest things you could possibly think of have been thrown into a pot and it has spawned this film.
You have a child who suffers from Asperger Syndrome, a father who left messages on the answering machine while he was stuck in the twin towers that this child listens to over and over again, and it’s even got a character who doesn’t talk because something traumatic happened to him. And on top of all that, it’s about 9/11. It’s too much. However, if you want a film to cry to for two hours then this is perfect.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a universally depressing film and perhaps it might be a little over the top, but it has a good message and makes an effort to help us reconcile what happened rather than make us re-live it again.