Two Unfitting Hats.
Baird teeters the film completely on the performance. Is it an inadequacy of the content of the script or a director so generous that he offers more room to the actor? It is a rickety chair, leant towards a productive result by the actors. For instance, consider a confessional encounter between Stan (Steve Coogan) and Ollie (John C. Reilly) in the last act of the film. That entire conversation has managed to grasp the essence of these two megadorms of talents, that never compromised their humor even for drama and still manages to create a heartwarming meaningful arc in their acts.
The film, just like their half an hour of acts, is simple and meticulous to the core. There is only one big scene that it all builds up for and as much as appreciative John C. Baird; the director’s, approach is, there is some vital piece missing in the puzzle. And it is the tease for the game, the thirst of ours to wish for these beautifully performed actors to shook on each others term. There is real romance in their performance but no quest to make you lie at the brisk of your seat.
If Reilly is the underdog that takes pity pills in here, Coogan is morally complex and easy to absorb with his wide unblinking watery eyes. The writing is good as far as the conversations are concerned, like the way how this duo pretends to fight in front of their partners by using that same arrow that wounded them in the previous one. The screenwriter Jeff Pope has somehow created a mirror to Stephen Frears’s Philomena, only this time it lacks the heavy drama that painted it bright. Stan And Ollie stages an incredible homage to its inspiration- from the vocab it adapts to the body language or structure- but, unfortunately, period.