Grief and loss are themes which are regularly tackled on the big screen. To a large degree, they often tend to follow a similar path; reflecting the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). However, life doesn’t always follow a logical path. Humans are complex creatures. We often react to stressful situations in unpredictable ways. A Ghost Story is a film about loss and time, but director David Lowery approaches death from a unique angle.
C (Casey Affleck), a talented freelance songwriter, lives with his wife M (Rooney Mara) in a downmarket bohemian house in suburban Texas. When C is hit by a car and killed M reels from the shock. She identifies his body at the morgue, pulling up the white sheet to cover his face before leaving. A short while later he emerges, covered in the sheet, as a ghost. He observes M as she goes through the pain and suffering of loss. Confused and disorientated.
A Ghost Story is an unusual, thought-provoking and intelligent take on death, mortality and the supernatural. Lowery places the viewer in the role of a voyeur. We watch the ghost of C observing M. As we travel through time, it soon becomes obvious that he’s marooned in the same spot; unwilling or unable to leave; long after M is gone. On the surface, A Ghost Story is about bereavement and ‘moving on’. As a ghost, C is fragmented and confused. Seeing without really comprehending. It’s an interesting perspective of haunting in what is a really fascinating film.
A Ghost Story is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment on 15 January.