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REVIEW | CAUSEWAY

Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry's chemistry on screen shines through the trauma laced storyline, taking a complex subject matter and bringing some light upon it.
WRITTEN BY ELLIOT LINES / NOVEMBER 5, 2022

After a US soldier, Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence), suffers a traumatic injury while fighting in Afghanistan, she struggles to adjust back to life back home. When her truck breaks down and she has to take it to a repair shop she meets James (Brian Tyree Henry), suffering from trauma in his life himself, it leads to an friendship bond between them both, helping each other through these hardest of times.


There are many different ways someone could be suffering from trauma, and it's not always portrayed on screen with care or thought. Where Causeway excels is in the portrayal of different kinds of trauma. Immediately you feel the connection between Lynsey (Lawrence) and James (Tyree Henry), and you may think this is going down the same old route, but those "potential ulterior motives" quickly get squashed and the film can easily move on with the relationship building of these two people. Even though the film at one point does toy with emotions, which causes friction between the pair, by no means is it the focus of the film itself. Lynsey and James are there for each other, with James cutting a lonely figure and Lynsey adjusting back into the world, they guide each other through their independent traumatic events, giving a purpose to their chance meet.

There has never been any doubt in Lawrences ability, and with the success of the Hunger Games films she landed herself in blockbuster attempting or franchise movies with varying success, but these don't get to show her full range, Causeway does. Its a deep emotional look into a persons mind and soul, much like Winter's Bone. There is a raw nature to her performance and we're here for her to star in more films like this. Brian Tyree Henry has had a fairly similar run. Probably best known for his role in Atlanta, he has recently appeared in Godzilla vs Kong, The Eternals and Bullet Train, with the latter being a bigger comedic role. This performance is very different from them, he is in the limelight here, maybe not as much as Lawrence but he is just as essential to the story, and he smashed it. There is an aura each time he is on screen, but when the two of them are placed together the film shines.


Set in the suburbs of New Orleans, the aesthetics here aren't exactly something to sing about, and frankly they're quite bleak. This can cause the film to feel plain, and may not hold the attention of all viewers (let's be honest you won't be watching this as a pick me up). But the bleakness serves a purpose to the storyline as a whole. This is an area that reminds both Lynsey and James of their experiences, but especially for Lynsey, it's a place she doesn't want to be, never wanting to return to, there's clearly more reason to her deperation to be redeployed as quick as possible.


Causeway is not a film to watch to pick up your mood, but for the performances on show it's most certainly worth watching. Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry's chemistry on screen shines through the trauma laced storyline, taking a complex subject matter and bringing some light upon it.


STAR RATING


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