This Film Will Have You Singing in it

It’s “Rain”ing in movie theaters, and that’s a good thing

“Rain” accounts the moral and sexual awakening of 13-year-old Janey (Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki) in 1972. The budding adolescent has a ringside seat as her family falls apart before her eyes.

The youngsterís parents have rented a beachside cottage for the summer and she and her younger brother, Jim (Aaron Murphy), are left to run amuck as their parents party like rock stars and attempt to save their uncertain marriage.

Janeyís bitter and bored mother, Kate (Sarah Peirse), flirts, drinks and copes with her daily hangovers while her feeble husband, Ed (Alistair Browning), is driven away by his wifeís unbecoming behavior. Still, both parents continue to ignore their ever-present troubles and spend a majority of the summer sucking lemons and drinking hard liquor.

When Cady (Marton Csorkas), a wandering photographer, drifts into their lives, all hell breaks loose. Kate is immediately attracted to Cady and proceeds to have passionate sessions of rock-da-boat lovemaking with him.

However, she is not the only one with her eye on the camera-ready stranger. Like mother, like daughter, Janey is also interested in the nomadic family friend and she sees him as her one-way ticket out of her dysfunctional family.

ìRainî highlights the small and often overlooked moments that swell to a familyís demise with sharp and precise detail. The film is as much about the collapse of a mother-daughter relationship as it is about the failure of a marriage. Very few films have successfully shown the extreme emotional ups and downs found in mother-daughter relationships; even fewer films place mother and daughter in sexual competition.

Janey witnesses the development of a steamy relationship between her mother and Cady as her own desire intensifies and becomes more reckless.

In the end, Janey makes a decision that will alter her family forever. As a result, ìRainî is somewhat of a version of the Oedipal myth.

All in all, I liked ìRain.î Although the movie tends to move a tad bit slow, one cannot ignore the striking scenery of New Zealand or the filmís tear jerking ending.

At the risk of sounding like a sadist, I found the heartrending scene not only emotionally appealing, but touchingly beautiful as well. Its narrator and main character, Janey, fill the film with provocative symbolism and witty quips.

Directed by feature-film rookie Christine Jeffs, ìRainî is a stunning debut for the New Zealand native.

I must admit that the ending aggravated meó it felt condemning. It seemed as if it was trying to imply that, because Janey and Kate had the courage to explore their sexuality and (dare I say it) act like men, that the family had to be punished. I did not appreciate that.

However, I thought about it again and considered that maybe the filmís equation of sex and tragedy was simply trying to prove the point that if one makes decisions without fully considering all possible consequences (the good and the bad), there could be grave repercussions.

ìRainî is currently only showing in Los Angeles and New York in a limited number of theaters. ìRainî is now playing at the Clearview 59th St. East Theater. It will be further released later this year.

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