WHERE IS KYRA?
Directed by: Andrew Dosunmu
Written by Darci Picoult, based on a story by Picoult and Dosunmu
Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kiefer Sutherland, Sam Robards, Suzanne Shepherd
Run Time: 1h 38min
3 1/2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
This movie is remarkable. I’d like to warn that it was also one of the most depressing films I’ve ever seen… but oh so good, I promise you that. ‘Where Is Kyra’ was very well done and the bleak, cloudy atmosphere created was so alluring that I couldn’t look away. I’d like to say it was an exceptional film.
It’s macabre and thought-provoking, sincere and honest in its description of what someone will do and who they’ll become when faced with severe adversity. I would use the word exceptional but for one choice director Andrew Dosunmu made that had me cringing when this action occurred in his film. Yes, cringe, and not in a good way. An absolutely terrible noise would accompany scenes where Kyra (Pfeiffer) was impersonating her dead mother.
I’m quite sure it was done to keep the audience on the edge so there was cause for it but it was so absolutely annoying and incredibly irritating that, for me, it not only dropped the grade down a touch but had to be mentioned to you. The audience is already mesmerized and get the point, Dosunmu. You don’t need to use sound to attack those who might have missed it. Trust me… no one missed it. The film is good without its use to influence us.
The lighting was dark and set the tone beautifully, but I will add this, the film is a bit too slow early on for the average moviegoer, however, I implore you to keep watching. That alone should never be a reason to avoid watching a film. It’s okay to allow a director to set the stage for you. I’ll try and do the same here.
The aforementioned Kyra, who Michelle Pfeiffer nailed superbly, is a divorced woman well past her prime. She’s living in Brooklyn and wants independence but with limited skills for today’s needs, she is having trouble finding a job that will keep her afloat. She moves into her elderly mother, Ruth’s (Shepherd), apartment and helps take care of her. These scenes, one of them with a very brave and very nude Suzanne Shepherd, are tremendous and the connection they have is evident as Kyra helps Ruth in and out of her bath, keeps her company… expresses to her how much she’s loved. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Ruth dies. Kyra is alone and for the first time feels abandoned. She looks around her mother’s home where her mother no longer resides and breaks down. Not only has Ruth left her but the financial support she was able to get is gone, too. What to do?
She meets up with one of Ruth’s neighbors, Doug (Sutherland), who also happens to be a caretaker at a nursing home. He’s had a checkered past but has found helping people to be cathartic and rewarding. He genuinely cared for Ruth and decides to do what he can to help her daughter. They’re physically attracted to one another, as well, so they begin to have a much deeper relationship that’s mutually beneficial. She opens herself up to Doug but when she gets so desperate for money as to do the unthinkable, she’s afraid of losing him so she keeps it a secret. She’s aware of the fact that what she’s doing can get her into bigger trouble but she’s not finding a job and doesn’t want to risk the relationship. She refuses to ask too much of Doug as she’s prideful to a degree so she tries her best to make it on her own, however, bills are stacking up and it’s time to act to remedy the situation. The rest of the movie is truly captivating and, largely, grueling but you will not get up until the credits roll. Not for anything. Phenomenal.
See this movie. Amongst a world of remakes and reimagining’s it’s quite unique and you’ll do a lot of thinking long after the film is over.
Playing exclusively now at Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square. Don’t miss it!