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Restless (Blu-ray Review)

21 Jan, 2012 By: Angelique Flores

Street 1/24/12
Sony Pictures
Box Office $0.16 million
$45.99 Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic elements and brief sensuality.
Stars Henry Hopper, Mia Wasikowska.

There’s no happy ending in Restless, but there’s joy to be found in the journey.

Enoch (Henry Hopper) is a troubled teenager who, rather than going to school, crashes memorial services. In between he spends time with his friend, Hiroshi, playing Battleship and throwing rocks at moving trains. 

At one memorial service, he catches the eye of teenage Annabel (Mia Wasikowska), whose bright demeanor contrasts his somber disposition. He rebuffs her attempt to be friends until she helps him get out of trouble with the man who works at the cemetery. Both outsiders, the two click pretty quickly.

At first Enoch seems like a Holden Caulfield type character, but later it’s revealed his troubles come from more than just the usual teenage angst. His parents died in a car accident, which also put him in a coma for months, causing him to miss his parents’ funerals. Shortly after, he was kicked out of school after beating up a boy who made a joke about his parents. And Hiroshi is actually dead; he’s the ghost of a Kamikaze pilot.

Annabel reveals her own secret: She is dying of cancer.

With death all around him, Enoch isn’t afraid to get close to Annabel. For her, this is probably her only shot at love in her short life.

Restless isn’t quite on par with director Gus Van Sant’s best films, but it still is a sweet and touching romance movie. The chemistry between newcomer Hopper (Dennis Hopper’s son) and Wasikovska (Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are Alright) is palpable.

At times, it tries too hard to be that quirky-yet-charming indie film. Sometimes it succeeds, but it does better at tugging at your heartstrings with the doomed romance between two teens who, though still very childlike, are well beyond their years.

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