A Ghost Story review – An ingenious attempt at creating something strange, intense

Cassey Affleck and Rooney Mara do a wonderful job of creating a surreal piece of art

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A Ghost Story

A Ghost Story is a film that tells stories of many things; not primarily a ghost story as the title would suggest.  The main character is a young male musician (Casey Affleck) who dies in a car accident and instead of leaving behind his wife (Rooney Mara) for good, he hovers around their Texas home as a dead body in a white sheet. A grieved Mara leaves the house later, but Casey won’t go. He remains at the position where he died, presumably still undergoing a phase of denial. He ‘lives’ with new tenants including a single mother and her two children at one time, and at another time with some young people who love partying a lot.

Someone would wonder what sort of stories would come out of such a plot, but the film immerses the viewer in a love story in one scene, then into a realistic story about loneliness and denial in another scene. It also reflects on the anxiety that comes with contemplating about life after death (if at all there is).

In a rather mystical way, A Ghost Story shows the ephemeral nature of the flesh, and communication of emotions through gestures seems to be the movie’s specialty. Watching the film feels like peeping into Casey’s life and this opens up to a unique way of reflecting on one’s own character.

Some scenes portray soulful expressions about the hopeless circle of life, such as when Will Oldham, who acts as a guest at a party has a monologue on humanity’s futile efforts of trying to leave positive traces.

Directed by David Lowery and produced by Adam Donaghey, James M. Johnson, and Toby Halbrooks, A Ghost Story is a film that takes you on a journey through and after life. It presents ghosthood as an in-between state where people refuse to give up the life they can’t have.

A24 released A Ghost Story on July 7, 2017 and it is being shown in four theatres in LA and NY. If the transient nature of quiet meditations of love, life, loss, and grief is something you consider interesting, then Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a must-watch.

Watch the official movie trailer of A Ghost Story