x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Arthur Newman

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt flounder in this unappealing identity crisis.

Colin Firth, left, and Emily Blunt in Arthur Newman. Vertebra Films
Colin Firth, left, and Emily Blunt in Arthur Newman. Vertebra Films

Arthur Newman
Director: Dante Ariola

Starring: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt
*

The Oscar-winner Firth plays a man in search of a new life as he fakes his own death and goes on a voyage of self-discovery with a wild-hearted young woman (Blunt). Neat premise aside, there’s very little about Arthur Newman that stands out – the plot is contrived, the characters broadly drawn and their adventures at best bland, at worst confounding.

It’s the type of “reinvention” story Hollywood believes it does so well, but in reality produces a mound of middle-age wish fulfilment. The leads are interesting, but nowhere near the usual levels of brilliance either actor can achieve.

Blunt’s “troubled” character is an indie drama stereotype, and even the normally magnetic Firth can’t make you forget the fact that this is a far-fetched story, told in a rather unappealing way.

artslife@thenational.ae

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