There is an upscale grocery store about a block from where I live. I am totally addicted to it (probably because its just so darn convenient!). Every time I go to the store, I am enticed by their bakery. The cute little tarts, perfect slices of pie, fancy mousse desserts, and the delectable cookies look amazing; perfectly displayed in the case. Each of the baked goods appear delightful; and when I feel like splurging, I have been known to buy one of these treats. On the occasion that I do indulge, I am always disappointed by the product. The treats never quite live up to my expectations. Funny enough, I had similar feelings when I saw Ink today.
In Ink, a little girl’s soul is kidnapped by a strange being named Ink and taken into the world of dreams; while her physical body remains in a coma. Ink intends to trade her to the Incubi (the creatures that create nightmares) in order to become an Incubi himself. It is up to the Storytellers (the beings who create dreams) to save her before she is lost to the Incubi forever (imagine an organ playing a dramatic chord for an extended length of time here). In the real world, her less than attentive father must make the choice between his career and saving his daughter.
Conceptually, the story is unique and compelling. I love the idea of the Storytellers and Incubi entering the world to give people either sweet dreams or nightmares. Ink has a bit of a Jim Henson feel to it, and I like that. I just really wish the film was able to do the story justice.
Sure, I give the movie credit for accomplishing a lot as an independent film. That being said, it is very much an independent film. Now, I support and love indie film, but sometimes they tend to be a bit cliché. For example, Ink uses a lot of the “static feedback” style of shooting (imagine watching an entire film shot like a trailer for any given horror movie…it gets old quick) and overexposed shots. I guess this is supposed to indicate edginess or the idea of a dream world, but it seems over-stylized to me. Bleh. The same can be said for the audio—interference and whispers also abound in the film, but really don’t add anything to the film except noise.
I also found the acting uninspired. With a story so original and magical, I wanted to be enthralled as an audience member. It is up to the actors to make an unbelievable (or fantastical) tale, believable. I almost wish this film would be remade– with a budget, a stronger cast, and perhaps the team from the Henson Studios.
Overall, I am torn about how to score the film. If I was examining story alone, I would give it an A without a second thought. However, I feel that the acting and certain artistic choices drag the film down. That would have earned it a D. So, I am going to split the difference, adjust for the phase of the moon, and divide that by 3 (the current season of The X-Files that I am watching) and come up with the score.
Have a wonderful day!
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