Sunday, July 5, 2009



Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: John Krasinski, Maya Rudolph,Jeff Daniels, Catherine O'Hara, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan

Screenplay: Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida

Music: Alexi Murdoch

Run Time: 97 min.


A strange but wonderful trip in search of a place to call home. A perfectly enjoyable ride with a feel-good touch.

Burt and Verona are the kind of couple that we would like to know. They are both in their 30s, interesting, quirky and are gainfully employed; he sells insurance to insurance companies while she is an illustrator for medical publications. They are expecting their first child in 3 months and have just discovered that Burt’s self-absorbed parents have decided to move to Antwerp for 3 years. The only reason they have been living in Colorado is to be close to the grandparents-to-be when the baby arrives. And thus begins an unchartered trip in the search of a place (and a lifestyle) to call home.

Their journey takes them from Colorado to Phoenix, AZ to Madison, WI to Montreal (Canada) to Miami, FL. Along the way we meet some colorful characters as we observe Burt and Verona’s perceptions about their friends and happiness. It begins with Verona’s friend Lily (Allison Janney in a deliciously shocking performance) whose politically incorrect language is an embarrassment to her children but has no effect on her alcoholic husband. We spend a brief tender moment with Verona’s sister before they jet off to Wisconsin to meet Burt’s “cousin” Ellen (Maggie Gyllenhall in a terrific supporting role) who now goes by “LN” and has taken up a free-spirit, post-feminist lifestyle with her husband. Things are not looking too good so far…

The next stop is Montreal which seems more promising as they meet their friends whose seemingly perfect life offers hope till they bare their wounds. A family tragedy then summons the couple to Miami where Burt’s brother needs their help. Amidst this crisis, Burt and Verona see the simple but elegant solution to their dilemma and head on to what will be their home.

Both Krasinski and Rudolph have achieved a remarkable breakthrough as they make Burt and Verona not only believable but very likeable and individuals that most people can relate to. They both have their TV images that precede them, him as Jim from The Office and her as the comedienne from Saturday Night Live. In Burt and Verona, director Sam Mendes has found an almost perfect spousal relationship in an unmarried couple after introducing us to various dysfunctional, misanthropic marriages in his previous works (American Beauty and Revolutionary Road). Mendes continues to prove himself extremely capable with scripts dealing with the human condition. The soundtrack is excellent showcasing Alexi Murdoch along with some gems from The Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan.

The script is written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, who are novelists and essayists and a real-life couple with kids. I enjoyed Eggers’ “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” (recommended reading) and can see his touch in this script. All in all, this is definitely a ride worth taking, especially for the company you will keep during the two hours.

Download this: Wait by Alexi Murdoch

Worth noting: This movie is one of the first films to adopt green film-making initiatives during production. Efforts to decrease CO2 emissions include recycling bins on locations, use of washable cutlery and crockery instead of disposables as well as vehicles with biodiesel fuel. Even the credits in the movie use the environment-friendly format popularized by and adopted by this blog (white letters on black).

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog Deep. Me, being a 'Barodian', enjoyed the one from May the most. Please keep writing about good movies and books!