Sundance Review: The Yellow Handkerchief
by Alex Billington
January 19, 2008
The Yellow Handkerchief is yet another low-budget, indie road trip movie (like The Go-Getter last year) featuring three incredibly quirky characters that, without knowing each other at all, hop into a classic convertible together and drive down through Louisiana. Even from the start I never really got into this, as I'm just not a fan of the south-east to begin with. It plays like Mr. Brooks combined with a tad of Into the Wild, but with none of the better parts of either. Although I admire Udayan Prasad's attempt to direct a solid road trip drama, his characters were too odd and the story was too weak for this to be even remotely memorable.
In the film, Brett (William Hurt) is a man just released from prison who ventures into a small southern town and stumbles upon Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) and Martine (Kristen Stewart), two teens who in a spur of the moment become friends. The same lack of back story I give you here is the same lack of back story found in the film. Although William Hurt actually delivers a performance that was quite impressive, Redmayne's and Stewart's never really stepped up to the same plate. This film flips between acting like a slight comedy with a few funny moments and an emotional drama / romance and in turn it never really finds the actual direction it wants to head in or a reason to be told.
While there are a few worthwhile aspects, including the emotional morality push at the end and the build up / reveal of William Hurt's past, most of this thoroughly bored me. I could never get into the locations or the story and never cared for the characters. The romantic aspect never really turned into anything entertaining, it was only a dull attempt to get a few people to fall in love. The Yellow Handkerchief really is nothing outstanding and instead is a quickly forgettable southern film that features only one good performance by Oscar winner William Hurt.
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