A Ghost Story is a supernatural drama directed by David Lowery and stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara in the lead roles of C and M respectively. After C dies in a car accident, he comes back as a white-sheeted ghost and remains in the house that he lived in with M, his wife. However, he has become unstuck in time and he has to watch his old life slowly slip away. He embarks on a journey through memory and history while confronting the enormity of existence, love and death.
My Knowledge and Expectation of A Ghost Story
I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this film. I had not seen any trailers for A Ghost Story and my only knowledge of the film came when I saw that both Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara were in it. Casey Affleck hugely impressed me with his performance in Manchester by the Sea and I was interested to see Rooney Mara too.
I am more familiar with Kate Mara, her sister, because of her role in House of Cards but I have noticed the quality of Rooney Mara’s performances in films such as Carol and Lion. Seeing Casey and Rooney together really interested me but, again, I did not know what to expect with A Ghost Story, especially when it came to the story.
My Thoughts on A Ghost Story
I saw this film a couple of weeks ago so I have had a lot of time to think about it. Now, I mean this in a good way; A Ghost Story is the most challenging film I have seen in 2017. There is so much depth in this film and the themes which are interwoven in the story such as death, time and the meaning of life are very thought-provoking. Additionally, these themes are showcased in a very unconventional way but it still has an emotional impact.
The reason I say this is because A Ghost Story is very atmospheric and artful. The film relies on visual storytelling rather than dialogue and it is a slow burn. In fact, I was not enjoying the film during the first act. There were a couple of scenes in the first act that were unnecessarily long and they could have been considerably trimmed. At this point in the film, I did not like it at all but everything changed after one scene.
The scene was one that had the most dialogue in the entire film and it made me realise what the message and point of A Ghost Story was. This also helped me get used to the pacing and style of the film. Indeed, the style of the film is quite unique as Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, while both in leading roles, are secondary aspects of A Ghost Story. For me, the themes, score and fantastic cinematography of the film are much more prevalent than the characters and I was fine with this.
As the film progressed, I fell more and more in love with it. In fact, A Ghost Story impacted me so much in the end that I sat in silence for the entire credits. No film since Nocturnal Animals has had a similar impact on me. For that reason alone, it ranks amongst the best films I have seen in 2017. Nevertheless, while I ended up loving A Ghost Story, this film is not for everyone. If you go in with the right expectations, then I think you will be impacted by a sad film that will challenge you in a very good way.