The Lost City reminds me that cinematic affability can often be achieved with no more than cast enthusiasm.
The Lost City Synopsis
Even though he’s a crucial part of her commercial success, recluse writer Loretta Sage detests Alan, viewing the handsome cover model as an airhead trapped in an identity crisis. Would her opinions improve after Alan goes to extreme lengths to rescue her from a remote Atlantic Island? Or is Loretta’s entire kidnapping by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax but another tawdry romance cooked up by her unhappy mind?
I first watched the trailer for The Lost City in February, and truth be told, I wasn’t at all attracted.
The trailer was lively and fun, and as many have pointed out, reminiscent of the great treasure hunt movies of the 80s. To me though, it feels no more than a cash-milking attempt banking on tired tropes and the attractiveness of its leads. A copy of copies, to paraphrase New York Times’ mixed review.
I’m delighted to say I’m proven wrong, though, if only partially. The base premise does tire before long but the show more than makes up for it with the raw enthusiasm of the cast. By so gleefully embracing the caricatures they are depicting, the fun rubs off on you and it isn’t long before you too will decide to indulge in what is in honesty, a loopy fantasy.
Sandra Bullock shines. The trailer led me to expect some jaded, neurotic middle-age stereotype who would swiftly sink into the muscled arms of a dumb but earnest hunk. Her character does somewhat do that in the end, but her depiction frequently shines with moments of poignant depth too. Not just how she’s rejecting the replacement solace she has unconsciously created for herself, but also her dilemmas between passion and work, and happiness.
There’s also a certain sly ambiguity from start to end. I’m unsure whether I’m overreading humour but the whole run is peppered with hints that the adventure is but another book by Loretta Sage. One that wrote to heal herself, or should I say, as the heart of her determination to move beyond the death of her beloved husband.
The ending states I’m wrong, but the ending’s ending unceremoniously returns everything to a surreal note.
Just what is what? Or is it all no more than a spritzy romantic reawakening?
Or … what if everything is but a fan’s daydream?
Might be frustrating for other viewers, but this ambiguity greatly appealed to me.
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