Title: Rabbit Hole
Director: John Cameron Mitchell
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh, Giancarlo Esposito, John Tenney
By: Joe Belcastro
Having an accomplished cast is always a good idea if one plans on following the typical storytelling pattern seen in others depicting similar themes. Rabbit Hole is just that. The 91 minute feature follows a married couple who is struggling to cope with tragedy. So although the flick mimics others, it still has a legit shot in standing out if the performances can enhance script.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and her husband Howie (Aaron Eckhart) seemingly had the perfect life. Promising careers, a gorgeous house in a wealthy suburban neighborhood, great family and friends surrounding them; All in all, what more could they ask for these days. They even had a four-year-old son. Had, being the keyword. The above mentioned tragedy stems from the loss of their son. A random event prematurely ends the young boy’s life. Nearly a year has passed and despite all the group therapy, Becca and Howie are still very much lost on how to move forward as a couple and individually.
Howie forms a bond with fellow group member Gaby (Sandra Oh). Meanwhile, Becca can’t stand being at group anymore and takes a random interest in high school senior Jason (Miles Teller). Becca also keeps a running dialogue with her mother (Dianne West) and her newly pregnant sister Izzy (Tammy Blanchard). Both Howie and Becca realize that getting back to the norm is just not happening. They constantly disagree on what direction to take in coping with the memory of their lost child.
To avoid spoilers, that is all the plot points that can be revealed. A few subtle surprises will hit the audience as the Becca and Howie characters open up to others. Stated above, was the relation between having a solid cast in a formulaic story. One of the storylines will keep the viewer guessing while the other is fairly predictable. That said, the bold performances of Kidman and Eckhart casually bring in enough power to keep one engrossed for a good portion of this flick. However, eventually this ends up losing momentum about two-thirds of the way through and you will be looking around for something a bit more interesting.
Some may point out that Kidman and Eckhart lack the chemistry in many of their scenes. Newsflash people, that’s the point. They’re supposed to be jaded and awkward. These moments, whether it is both of them or Kidman having a breakdown in public, is what keeps this emotional for the viewer. Placing yourself in the characters position is one of two main reasons this should be sought out. The other is the interaction between Kidman and Miles Teller. Chances are you will not want their conversations to ever stop.
The supporting players try to provide another layer and/or an alternate view of the story. In the end though, they’re placement in the story just doesn’t add much at all. Well acted, but fail to provide anymore substance on what is a straight-forward story. One prop that spoke volumes though is the final page of the comic book introduced toward the end. That picture, working in concert with the main theme, really sums up the purpose of this flick nicely.
Overall, Rabbit Hole is brought to life by the performers. An introduction to a few subplots keeps the viewer involved. The realistic approach is welcomed for a while, but eventually drags and really doesn’t lead to anywhere. It is what it is.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5