Stutter is a guy who believes in the present. He doesn’t have an iota of an idea about how the future is going to pan out. He is blissfully unaware of the past. Aimee is not like Stutter but still unsure about what she’s going to do, considering she needs to be in town helping her mother. Cassidy is in love with Stutter but unwilling to continue, as she doesn’t see Stutter as a man with a plan. These are real people, the millennials with problems that may not sound like problems, but they do. They live in the present. But then what is present? Experts say it’s the state or phase of time, that is currently being experienced by the entity. It’s the state of mind, that refuses to wander into the past. It’s the psyche that’s unaware of what is supposed to happen in future. It just likes to live the days in the ‘Now’. The Spectacular Now.
Director James Ponsoldt’s ‘The Spectacular Now’ talks about two individuals and their perception of the present. It’s a coming of age story that’s told rather uniquely. There’s no pretence, just two individuals going about their life. Stutter, whose girlfriend leaves him as she’s unsure about their future together, meets Aimee. They strike up an unusual friendship, which quickly moves on to become a relationship. While Stutter is secretly hoping to get back with his ex-girlfriend, the rest of the story forms the crux about the definition of living in the present, while acknowledging the past and moving on gracefully.
Miles Teller did this film prior to his breakthrough performance as drummer Andrew Neyman in ‘Whiplash’. He plays Stutter with a disarming charm that kind of syncs with his persona. He is a carefree young man, yet there’s a sensitive side to him. He likes his beverage spiked with alcohol yet he’s truthful when he admits to his boss, that he may have a drinking problem and he rather leave the job than going back on his word. Shailene Woodley plays Aimee, a charming young lady, who’s head over heels about Stutter. Together they look cute and their chemistry is so affable that you get to see the connection between the characters. Brie Larson plays Cassidy, the third cog of the wheel.
The film depicts a sequence about the first time the couple decides to get intimate and it’s been shown in a beautiful and aesthetic way. There’s no focus on the nudity, just two young people making love to each other, for the first time. Even the tiffs between the two look so real. In a sequence where due to a momentary lapse of judgment from Stutter’s side, Aimee gets into an accident. Stutter is devastated yet Aimee upon seeing him in the hospital, warms up to him, considering his state of mind, about uncovering the fact about his father, who had deserted them a long time ago. Moments like these make the movie immensely watchable.
Watch ‘The Spectacular Now’, streaming on Netflix.
The Cinemawala Rating: 3/5