Review of movie, Serenity (2019)

Serenity was a picturesque but very complicated movie to put across. It’s the story of a teenage boy (Rafael Sayegh) who escapes into technology for relief from his and his mother’s horrible lives with an abusive stepfather.

The movie starts literally with a teenage boy’s eyes and your tv screen fills with the computer instructions he is working on. The camera then rushes over beautiful waters to his real father Baker Dill’s (Matthew McConaughey) fishing boat life in which he has no cares except to keep his boat running. He doesn’t even seem to realize or remember he has a son until his ex-wife (Anne Hathaway) arrives before her abusive obnoxious rich husband (played very well by Jason Clarke). The ex-wife asks Dill to kill her husband for $10 million which he refuses to do.

They seem to be kind of deadpan characters at first. The townspeople gave you the feeling of the tv show Cheers—”you ought to go where everybody knows your name” and your personal business. After Matthew McConaughey played in two of my favorite dramatic movies starring him—Amistad and A Time to Kill—he began making movies with characters similar to how this movie began with him being selfish and not caring about anything or anybody except catching the biggest tuna known to man, losing customers along the way.

thought it was a very different part for Anne Hathaway which gave the movie a film noire feel. She usually plays perky but serious young women in romantic comedies except for her dramas like Les Miserables in which she played Fantine, a dying prostitute. Dill’s partner, Duke (Djimon Hounsou), is the conscience of the movie all along and begs Dill not to kill the man.

The son’s imagination is creating all of this to get away from his abusive life. Then the science fiction aspect of the story takes over when Dill is approached by a man (a strait-laced “suit”) who tries to sell him a fish-finder to find the biggest tuna in the islands. But it turns out that the fish-finder salesman (Jeremy Strong) is actually the rules in the program/game who ask him not to kill the boy’s stepfather because it was not in the original program.

Meanwhile, the real son is planning to murder his real stepfather. I will not tell the ending, but it was quite a twist to find out other details which will not be revealed until the end. And, yes, there is nudity in the movie with Dill carousing with the local rich woman Constance’s (Diane Lane) partial nudity who pays him for sex basically.   And, Anne Hathaway’s mostly partial nudity in front of Jason Clarke’s abusive husband and in sex with Matthew McConaughey as she tries to convince him to murder her new husband.

Director Stephen Knight also wrote the screenplay.   The movie was released January 25, 2019: budget 25 million; box office 11.4 million.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

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