Watch Restless

"Who do you live for?"

Restless is a 2011 British-American drama. It stars Mia Wasikowska as the terminally ill Annabel and Henry Hopper as the morbid boy, Enoch, who falls in love with her. The action unfolds in Portland, Oregon, with a screenplay by Jason Lew and direction by Gus Van Sant. Enoch is an eccentric with a melancholic streak accentuated by recent tragedies in his life, namely the death of his parents in a car crash. Living with his aunt, Enoch slowly convalesces upon waking from a three-month coma and is subsequently befriended by the ghost of a World War II Japanese kamikaze pilot. It is suggested by dialogue that Hiroshi is a figment of Enoch's imagination and a pleasant supernatural plot twist. Hiroshi serves as Enoch's sounding board, confidant, counterpart, and dark comic relief.

When the movie begins, Enoch is seen lying on the ground, completing a crime-scene chalk outline of his own body. He dresses in black, has a pseudo-goth obsession with the dead, and crashes funerals. At one funeral, he meets Annabel, a teen heroine: wispy and weak, eclectic, and marked for death. This first meeting is awkward, though Annabel rescues Enoch from an exasperated funeral director who is quite fed up with Enoch's bizarre funeral fetish. Enoch is obnoxious, wearing his broken heart on his sleeve, and Annabel is the more fascinated with him because of this. Later, Annabel reveals she has cancer and three months to live, and is content to spend her last days working with children similarly stricken. Enoch is smitten at once.

The two share poignant conversations about life, observations about the world, and their mutual troubles. Like Enoch, Annabel has had her fair share of tragedy, impending death notwithstanding. Annabel's mother is an alcoholic and her older sister has begun shouldering parenting responsibilities. Anna dies, inadvertently liberating Enoch from all his grief.

Restless is a concise take on love and mortality via the prism of turbulent puberty.

PG-13
| 2011 | 1 hr 31 min | 6.8/10
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Gus Van Sant
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English
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