A powerful Hawaiian fable comes to life when a celebrated military man returns to reunite with old loves and conquer new ones in Aloha. A group of outwardly content adults struggle with their wants and needs to find their place as Aloha bewilders audiences and sparks strange curiosities.
Aloha plays hosts to an unusually grouped set of actors, including Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin. With this curious crop of seasoned actors comes an equally unusual set of performances.
Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a military contractor turned private sector servant who is reunited with his past and introduced to a new world. Cooper was interesting, as he unusually is. The best way to describe his slightly awkward performance was a mix of the social unease of Silver Linings Playbook combined with the fluctuating unlike-ability of American Hustle. This is not to say his performance is unenjoyable in the slightest, he sure delivered on the Cooper-ness of it all.
Emma Stone was her big-eyed beautiful self, slathered in unusual characterisation and somewhat jumpy character progression. The kookiness was on point as we can expect with Miss Stone but she was dealt a fierce card to begin with. Her character, Captain Allison Ng, is a determined fighter pilot with huge amounts of admiration and respect, who is sent to chaperone Gilcrest during his stay. Stone was able to give some ground to this character in the face of uneven maturity and an incredibly rocky personality.
Writer and director Cameron Crowe has crafted a film filled with components of many genres that have almost seamlessly welded together to result in a rather intriguing story.
Aloha is infused with Hawaiian mythology and a bunch of semi-supernatural moments, so much so that it became comical. These fascinating folk stories are thrown in your face and continually referenced to a point where you want to scream – enough! A heavy mythological hand has spoilt the metaphoric significance of the story, which is supremely unfortunate.
Despite it’s trailer promises, this isn’t your run of the mill RomCom. It is complex, fragmented and a little hard to follow at times. Aloha doesn’t fit in to any one genre; it’s funny but not a comedy, romantic but not a romance, has elements of an action film but without the action and crime thriller moments without any real crime. So Aloha has decided that it shall float in the abyss of the unknown genre and let us decide.
The dialogue was disjointed and sometimes altogether absent with whole scenes progressing without a single spoken word. Whilst some scenes were reliant on a comedic lack of words, others were built on spurts of emotion but left the audience unsure of what was happening exactly. The use, or lack thereof, of dialogue was not altogether unpleasant; in fact, it was refreshing at times. However, there was a rather lengthy learning curve, leaving you slightly dazed and confused.
Overall, Aloha is a really interesting film with curious plot twists and a great cast. The eventual ending was not necessarily the most obvious end (in most ways) but it was satisfying.
If you’re after a chick-flick, don’t go in to this one with the hope of tunning out to soak in the eye-candy, you will be confused. In saying that, don’t avoid this one altogether, it’s rather whimsical and genuinely entertaining.
More complex than expected but enjoyable nonetheless. Overall, Aloha is a really interesting film with curious plot twists and a great cast.