Kodachrome – Review

Genre Drama
Directed by Mark Raso
Starring Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen, Bruce Greenwood, Wendy Crewson, Dennis Haysbert
Released on September 8, 2017 (TIFF), April 20, 2018 (United States)
Duration 100 minutes
Flixxpanda Rating 5/10
Channel Netflix

Kodachrome proudly claims that it was shot on 35mm Kodak film during it’s end credits. It often moans about the loss of physical pictures and how our generation turns everything to “electronic dust” yet it’s distributed by a digital media streaming platform, Netflix. Oh, the irony.

Anyway, Kodachrome revolves mainly around world-renowned photographer Ben (Ed Harris) and his estranged son Matt (Jason Sudeikis). Matt is in trouble with his label for not signing any successful artists and is in danger of losing his job. Ben’s assistant, Zooey Kern (Elizabeth Olsen) meets Matt at the office and tells him of Ben’s final request. Ben is in the last stages of liver cancer and he wants to get four canisters of Kodachrome developed. The issue is the only lab that is capable of doing so is in Parsons, Kansas and is about to close shop in a few days.

Matt and his dad haven’t spoken in a decade and he therefore refuses to take him. There’s a bit of blackmail and Ben’s manager offers to arrange a meeting for Matt with a popular band that if he manages to sign might just save his job, the only condition being he take Ben to Kansas. Ben reluctantly agrees and voila! It’s time for a road-trip to a playlist of emo songs specifically designed for driving a beat-up vintage car across state.

Here’s a gist of what happens. The holy trifecta of Ben, Matt and Zooey embark on said journey with a lot of tension at first that seems to loosen up somewhere along the way. There is a lot of family drama what with Matt blaming Ben for sleeping around on his mum and in contrast Zooey keeps warning Matt of Ben’s limited time. The fierce and charismatic Zooey is irresistible and thus she and Matt bond over music and strike up a romance. They all get to the shop in time and get the film developed.  Matt realizes the impact his father made on the photography world.  Ben passes away, the end.

The memorable part of the film is the splendid performances of the male leads towards the end of the movie. Father-son bonding only happens towards the last half an hour-ish, which leads to a good climax which made me tear up a bit I’ll admit. Other than that it’s a very forgettable film. The movie seems to mourn the losses of the digital age. It sticks to artsy, indie cinematography that hipsters might enjoy. I believe the intended audience was anyone above 30 because the probability of anyone younger than that enjoying it is slim to none. Give it a shot, you might enjoy it but chances are you’ll get bored and leave halfway.

Credit – Netflix | YouTube

Leave a Reply