Aloha (2015)

Director:  Cameron Crowe
Cast:  Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin
Plot:  A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and reconnects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watch-dog assigned to him.

Genre:  Comedy / Drama / Romance
Awards:  -
Runtime:  105min
Rating:  PG13 for some language including suggestive comments.

Guest review written by Sreyashi Sen

I went with no expectations for the film though having heard quite some bashing that the film has faced.  So I did go with an open mind to expect just the ‘Love Letter from Hawaii’ that Crowe promised it to be.

I have to admit the locales and cinematography in parts left you wanting for more. Breathtaking visuals of the scenic beauty of the island though there could definitely have been more if it was indeed the love letter it promised to be.

The story in a nutshell is one of a man who has hit as low as he could personally and professionally.  Though a bit vague on his job description Brian (Cooper) is a former military pilot who faced quite some crisis when posted in Afghanistan (that still comes back to him in dreams) and now works for a billionaire private defence contractor, which explains his return to Hawaii.  

This is the place chosen to launch a satellite and at the same time gain the favour and support of local Hawaii people (who again it turns out know him well and have brotherly bonds).  What doesn’t fall in place is why Hawaii?  Why him?

He is also interestingly flown to Hawaii by his former girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams) and her husband, the stoic Woody (John Krasinski).  He seemingly didn’t have a closure with Tracy and the film sees a need to do that.  Almost as if he flew to her and bring peace (which again he didn’t have due to so much of suffering in Afghanistan).  

Tracy has two children and suddenly after Brian arrives seem to have a downhill in marriage. Suddenly!  The husband talks through actions and the humour in script and screenplay is as juvenile as you could think it to be.  But then again we are talking of a simple story (really) and a love letter as appealed by Crowe.

Conveniently his colleague is Captain Ng (Emma Stone) who is half-Hawaiian and half-Chinese.  On one end she is uptight, sharp in words on the other she strums a guitar with the locals to help Brian and bring in the melancholy of it all.  And but obviously love will bloom between Brian and Ng, albeit a few twists and turns, misconceptions and anger.

And in all this there is the satellite launch, another parallel story of corruption greed and money where Bill Murray and Alec Baldwin almost play fringe characters.  There are some hiccups, some Samaritans and a lot of good done for the world.

The stars, under the stars and all the lighting and camerawork delight.  The script, storyline and everything else seems a shot in the dark.  What this movie should be seen is more a vacation than any serious business. (so what if it’s all to launch a satellite!)

Rating: 2.5 stars
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