The Yellow Handkerchief …A Road Movie To Your Soul……
When Kristen Stewart is not playing the girlfriend of a bloodsucking boring vampire ( in The Twilight series),she always ends up being rather good in every role she portrays.“The Yellow Handkerchief” is your typical independent road movie where three lost souls embark on a road trip post Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
By Sumaya Samarasinghe
William Hurt plays Brett Hanson, an ex convict who has spent the last six years in jail, Kristen Stewart is Martine, your typical 15 year old teenager who believes she isn’t loved by her father and British actor and model Eddie Redmayne who is also a Tony Award winner is the strange Gordy, so desperate for acceptance and love.
The teenagers who at first wonder if Brett is an axe murderer or a serial killer, offer him a lift as they seem, especially Martine, attracted to this mysterious man who reveals so little about himself but yet seems to have such a heavy burden weighing on his shoulders.
As the film unfolds and thanks to several flashbacks we get to know more about each character especially Brett and his relationship with his ex wife May. He is hoping to re-unite with her but isn’t sure if she is there waiting for him since he divorced May while being behind bars. William Hurt is perfect as this emotionally detached human being who finds himself a little beyond his control forced to play father figure and peace maker to Martine and Gordy. Hurt, is one of the most enigmatic American actors of his generation. He often plays icy, introverted characters and probably it is best that he sticks to this genre. It seems doubtful that he will ever be cast in the same type of roles are Jack Nicholson ( Wolf, Something’s Got To Give, As Good As It Gets) or Jim Carrey. But in Brett’s intensity, there is also care and kindness. And it is the experience and talent of a great actor which makes all those nuances possible in one personality.
The two younger cast members hold their own too. Stewart looks like a 15 year old which is a refreshing change to sophisticated 25 year olds trying to play teenagers and Eddie Redmayne brings “geeky” to another level so much so that he was the one I did an internet search on after I watched the film! In true independent road movie style, the filming uses no special effects. It flows gently like the trip our three heroes have decided to take. And just when things seem to get a little too comfortable and happy, British Indian Director Udayan Prasad throws in some excitement. Coming to the rescue of Gordy who is accused by a redneck homeless couple of damaging their van, Brett finds himself forced to use violence and ends up being taken in by the police.
Prasad who was a documentary maker until he moved to features in 1995 with Brothers In Trouble and My Son The Fanatic ( 1997); gives his latest film, a documentary like appearance. The dialogues seem unrehearsed, though they flow naturally, there are long moments of silence and the camera is like a third eye furtively following the journey of our trio.
The Yellow Handkerchief is about acceptance, loneliness and how the love of even just one person can change your entire life. A lovely little movie to watch on a rainy day with a warm cup of coffee.