Review: 'The Song Of Sway Lake'" Starring Rory Culkin And Robert Sheehan

Song of Sway Lake follows Ollie (Culkin), a loner and music collector; and his Russian, vagabond of a friend, Nikolai (Sheehan) as they take one last trip to Ollie's family's lake to steal a valuable record that he believes his father, who recently committed suicide, would want him to have.

One of the things that I can say that I loved about the movie was its imagery. I enjoyed the intercutting of flashbacks into moments that were happening in realtime in the movie, it gave it a kind of fever dream-esque feel to it.

I did feel like when it came to the romantic relationship between Ollie and Isadora (McNally) that the movie faltered a bit. I can understand a "love at first sight" relationship, however, at some point there needs to be some sort of grounding conversation or situation that serves as a basis for the relationship that let's us know what they're feeling is more than just surface level attraction; with this movie I felt like it came a little too late in the story. I found myself waiting a little too long to understand why it is that these two characters had the feelings that they did for one another.

I do think that when it came to the other relationships in the movie between mother, son, and grandson that the movie fared a lot better. Watching the strained relationship dynamic between Ollie and his grandmother, Charlie (Peil), play out was at times a bit hard to watch because of how clear it is that she's essentially letting the same problems that plagued her and her son's relationship (which is one of the factors that we can assume led to his suicide) grab a hold of and affect her relationship with Ollie and there seems to be no remorse. I thought that Mary Beth did a great job playing this hardened and emotionless character.

Because this movie is on the more subtle side I can understand the lack of furor to the overall movie. However, near the end of the movie, the story itself does take on a livelier feel which actually led to me wishing that they had sprinkled just a little bit more of that liveliness throughout the entire movie because it does feel as if the movie is just existing up until those last moments where I felt more of a pulse. If you are a fan of the quiet, indie drama that is more focused on its characters than narrative, then this is probably the movie for you.

Rating: 3 out of 5