Monday, March 23, 2020

Movie Monday: Serenity

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed streaming a movie, Serenity (2019), starring Matthew McConaughey, which is the perfect escapism film, featuring suspense, a great cast, and an intriguing plot in a beautiful setting.

McConaughey plays Baker Dill, a fisherman living on a small, remote tropical island. He earns a living from both commercial fishing and taking tourists out on fishing charters on his boat, Serenity. Dill lives a quiet, secluded, routine life, going out on the boat all day, returning to his boxcar home overlooking the water at night, and sometimes stopping by Constance's (played by Diane Lane) for company. There is a strong current of mystery and barely-concealed tension below his quiet exterior, though, and Dill is completely obsessed with a giant tuna out in the deeper waters that always gets away at the last moment. His first mate, Duke (played by Djimon Hounsou), tries to keep him in line, but sometimes Dill's fixation gets the best of him. His quiet routine is shattered one day when his ex-wife, Karen (played by Anne Hathaway), shows up in town. She left him for a wealthy man who turned out to be abusive to both her and to Dill and her son, and she wants Dill to take the horrible guy out on a fishing charter and send him overboard for the sharks to deal with. Dill says no at first but is tortured by thoughts of his sweet son being hurt by this brutal man. Will he do what Karen wants?

You know McConaughey plays the strong, silent type perfectly, and he is wonderful in this part as the tightly-controlled-but-clearly-hiding-secrets Dill. The town and island where he lives seem idyllic, but are they also hiding secrets? Of course, the biggest question of all in the movie is whether Dill will do what Karen wants and commit murder. Duke encourages him to do the right thing, but Dill's son is in danger, and it is clear that he cares very much for the boy. This twisty, taut movie is completely compelling with a uniquely engaging setting and tone. There are plenty of surprises in store that you will never see coming (we didn't), but we loved its original premise. It's a very satisfying movie that will leave you thinking about it afterward.

Serenity is currently streaming free on Amazon Prime and is also available on Youtube and Google Play.

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