Stereotypes are bad for good writing. They create clichés, generalising a variety of nuances specific to many cultures and, worst of all, they are not original. The Irish cliché of a lush green country, full of poor but happy farmers who just want to find love and live a happy life, is tasteless and uninteresting. This makes the hieroglyphs very thin, because it is clear that it is coming to an end. The immediate reaction was the release of the Wild Mountain Thyme trailer in which many people mocked the Irish accents that many actors had to wear. To be honest, the accents weren’t great, but I can see where the criticism comes from. It takes away everyone’s authenticity, but it doesn’t negate whether the accents are real or not.
As far as the story itself is concerned, Wild Mountain Thyme is nothing special. Basically he follows Anthony (Jamie Dornan) and Rosemary (Emily Blunt) who have to manage their own relationship because Anthony’s father (Christopher Walken) thinks he shouldn’t leave the family farm to his son. Instead, he prefers to sell the farm to his American cousin, to the great disappointment of everyone around him. The reason Anthony’s father won’t give him the farm is because he doesn’t believe his son will marry, so he thinks his nephew is a logical choice.
Later in the film, Anthony’s uncle and cousin, Adam (John Hamm), come to Ireland. Adam’s father leaves the airport by car with Anthony, but Adam decides to appear in the Rolls-Royce to impress everyone. What’s strange about this scene is the way everyone reacts. Their reaction is very predictable; old Irish are amazed by the beauty of the car, while young Irish are cynical and careful with this stranger and wonder who he would be if he owned the farm. Then he starts talking to Rosemary about the strangeness of the Irish, because Anthony and Rosemary don’t know how many acres they have on their farms.
It’s a fairly simple staging for a drama that could be interesting, but it’s the characters that actually interrupt the activity. In most cases, Anthony is the protagonist. It is an insecure person, confused by the emptiness of the space, who must be a direct person with whom the audience can identify. What doesn’t work is that Anthony’s point of view isn’t shown in the whole film. Dan Rosemary, Anthony’s roommate, who’s been in love with him since childhood. Random facts about them are in a story that’s worthless. I mean, Adam. Like I said, he loves to brag and he loves to be heard. Outside this scene, however, he has never shown any love for attention or bragging; other people just say he likes it. This is a great example of total disregard for the secrecy rule and it also demonstrates the weakness of writing the film.
History just isn’t fascinating. It is a simplified false love triangle in which it is clear who eventually comes together. Being fundamental to what you want to be and following your heart doesn’t allow you to have many stories or unique characters. It is clear that romantic movies can tell great stories if you think about it enough. In films like The Atonement and Call Me by Name there are screenwriters who give depth to the characters portrayed in these films.
But what good does wild mountain thyme do? The list may be short, but there are some remarkably good aspects to this film. On the one hand, the landscape makes a number of beautiful general photographs that capture the landscape very well. The music, which became really repetitive at the end, works well enough in the beginning to set the tone for some scenes. Some of the comedies are surprisingly funny, and there’s a joke that’s funny because everyone takes it seriously. As far as the performances are concerned, Christopher Walken and John Hamm work very well in their respective roles. They have good lines and a good dose of emotion, but Walken does the worst work with his accent.
There’s so much we could have done to improve the Wild Mountain Thyme movie. If Anthony or Rosemary had played a leading role, the story would have been less fragmented. Moreover, the whole story, for whatever reason, is unnecessarily confusing. The story develops in many strange directions, and it’s confusing. The film would benefit more if everything was played for fun. Part of the dialogue is unintentionally funny, especially at the climax of the film. If the Irish stereotype had been played as a joke, perhaps the emphasis would have been on deconstructing it and not just accompanying it.
One of the biggest problems with wild mountain thyme is that it has nothing to say. It just goes through the movements of each typical love story with some of the most legitimate plots, which are not enough to fit into the rather useless underground plots. None of the characters has a further development after one or two strokes. In general, wild mountain thyme is nothing special, but if a simple romantic story seems really interesting to you, this might be for you.
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