Broken Diamonds – Movie Review

Broken Diamonds: Directed by Peter Sattler

SYNOPSIS: In the wake of his father’s death, a twenty-something writer sees his dream of moving to Paris put in jeopardy when he’s forced to temporarily take in his wildly unpredictable, mentally ill sister.

A very interesting one to talk about today. I had absolutely no idea what this film was about, hadn’t seen a trailer and went in absolutely blind. Ben Platt is brilliant at everything he does so I was instantly intrigued and wanted to at least give it a look. Mental health is something that is examined a lot in film and television and for this film to take it head on, I was very interested to see if they could stick the landing. 

This film is the definition of fine. Not too good but not too bad either. The standout of the film was easily Lola Kirke. She portrays such a broken character with so many layers that at times make the viewer unsure of what is real and what is not. This film is a very real portrayal of the struggles that people deal with everyday revolving around mental health. Kirke does such a great day portraying someone who is suffering from something like that. It was very emotional and just done so well. The emotion is there and it resonates deeply. 

This one pains me because I love the man so much and believe that he is one of the best entertainers working today. Ben Platt is probably my least favorite part of the film. Now let me clarify, it doesn’t have anything to do with him, it strictly has to do with his character and what he is given in the writing. This is one of the most unlikeable characters I’ve seen in a minute. I can understand his character arc and respect what it was trying to do, but it just failed.

The writing is the downfall of this film. Unlikeable characters coupled with a really unlikeable and unfulfilling mystery made this a really big drag of a time. I wanted to love the relationship between brother and sister and I wanted to love the direction they took different decisions, but in the end, it just didn’t work. This is the pure example of a film being dragged down by the writing. As much as I respected the themes and performances, the writing derailed the effort. 

This is a side note that I wanted to leave for the end. I have huge respect for everyone involved in this film. The credits feature a sizzle reel of real people dealing with these issues, giving real testimony to the cast and crew. They did the work, took the time and made the effort to truly understand what these people go through. For that, I have the utmost respect. 

FINAL: Broken Diamonds is an emotional rollercoaster with the best intentions. You have some nice emotional performances from Lola Kirke and Ben Platt and you can tell that everyone in the project took the time to do the research to portray this mental illness in an accurate way. A haunting look at an illness that plagues so many people everyday. However, the film fails in teh writing and drags the main story down with side arcs and mysteries that aren’t necessary. The definition of a fine film that is dragged down by poor writing.

Point Breakdown:

20 for Entertainment 14

20 for Performances 16

10 for Direction 8

10 for Writing 6

10 for Emotions 7

10 for Cinematography 7

5 for Score 3

5 for Pacing 3

5 for Rewatchability 3

5 pts Automatic 5

Broken Diamonds: 72/100

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