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Film Review: Age of Adaline

Film Review: Age of Adaline

Age of Adaline is a film that came out in the Spring. I saw the posters and thought it would be another boring romantic comedy/drama, or something like The Time Traveller’s Wife or Benjamin Button. I wasn’t far off with Benjamin Button – that film tells the story of a man who ages in reverse (i.e. he starts out old and ends up as a baby). Age of Adaline centres on a woman who miraculously stops aging, and how she deals with her conditions. It’s both a blessing and a curse.


That’s pretty much all I can say about the plot without giving too much away, although a bit later on I’ll tell you about how it is she’s supposed to stay the same age. Adaline keeps herself shut off from the world, because she knows sooner or later she’ll have to move on to avoid her secret being discovered. She successfully manages to evade her past, until one weekend it all comes flooding back…


Adaline is played by Blake Lively, a famous American actress. Much of the cast isn’t really that famous, but her love interest is played by a handsome Dutch newcomer – Michiel Huisman, who has also been in Game of Thrones. Harrison Ford (yes, Hans Solo/Indiana Jones) also has a starring role, playing a mature character whose scenes prove to be one of the highlights of this film.


But how is it possible Adaline can’t age? Lots of people asked her the same thing, and eventually she had to go into hiding, because the government found out. Adaline has a car crash, and drowns in a freezing cold lake, but is resuscitated (that means her heart restarts) when a bolt of lightning hits the lake. This, combined with her body temperature at the time, alters her DNA and “stops the process of aging”. Not only is she 107 at the point we see her in the film, she doesn’t look a day over 30, and looks stunning at the parties she attends! That’s why so many people fall in love with her, I suppose.


The tone of the film is very fitting for the plot. It lacks humour, but that’s not what everybody wants from a film like that. Blake Lively’s voice has a lovely depth to it, and it suits the character perfectly, because she has seen a lot and is understandably tired of life. Harrison Ford is also very good, and the critics agree – his portrayal of a man desperately trying to get back his past is quite moving.


Is the film unique? Perhaps not. At the box office, it did less well than Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Having seen both films, Paul Blart is definitely funnier, but again that’s not what this film is supposed to be. It does, certainly, strike a chord and tug at your heartstrings – imagine all the tragedies of your life, but having to live through them again and again. If you enjoyed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, then you’ll probably enjoy this too. 


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