Review of Tennessee

Tennessee (2008)
7/10
Lively Performances and Landscape carry this Scant Film!
27 April 2008
I urge everyone reading this to NOT listen to reviews written by Mariah haters who want nothing more than to hate this film or people who clearly haven't seen it. I watched the film tonight at the Tribeca Film Festival and enjoyed it. While this movie is about two brothers, it's really the role of Krystal that steals the film. It just so happens to be Mariah Carey's role but if any other actress were playing it I'd probably say the same. Mariah doesn't look lost and confused here as she did in Glitter. Here she's fully confident and it shows. It does help that her character seems to be the only one in the entire film to be fully thought out. The Krystal role really brightens up the screen and comes along at just the right point to move the story along - without her I don't think I'd recommend the film as much.

After the film was over the writer spoke to us about intentionally writing little dialogue so that the actors were allowed to bring their character to life on their own terms. However, it felt at times like the film was too silent and lacked dialogue in important places towards the beginning where the brothers appear at a lost for words because there were simply no lines written. Also, it's hard understanding the relationship between the two brothers and their father without adequate back story. I would have liked to know a little more about how the father came to be the way he was - the few flashbacks did not help explain it. But on another positive note, like an audience member pointed out the film does have a beautiful landscape. The scenery featured throughout include various mountains, valleys and day/evening aerial shots which brought life to the overall picture. I don't recall much of a soundtrack but the one Mariah song was clearly a throwaway from her songbook, which may have been intentional since we're to believe she's an amateur just starting out on her journey to stardom. In conclusion, I'd say the actors all did a fine job with the script they were given and put their best foot forward. However, I think it'd be fair to state that this could have been a much better film with stronger dialogue and better direction.
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