This month, Netflix put out a load of new original films and TV shows, one of which immediately caught my eye. “Kodachrome” is a father-son road movie that anyone with a passion can appreciate. The film is based off of an article A.G. Sulzberger wrote in 2010 and stars Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen.
A world-famous photographer dad, Ben, has just gotten word that he has three months to live. He has been shooting on Kodak film all his life and has made it his last living goal to get his old rolls of film developed at the only lab that processes Kodachrome, a lab that is located in Parsons, Kansas and is also days away from closing up forever. The son, Matt, works for a record label, but is also a week away from getting fired because he hasn’t been signing any new acts. Matt is confronted by Zooey, Ben’s nurse, who tells him that Ben also wants to take this trip with him. As a way to make him say yes, she promises him a meeting with an up and coming rock band who has a show on the way to Kansas. The three set out on the trip from there.
Director Mark Raso’s “Kodachrome” is entertaining, but anything but unique. Although the screenplay was seemingly unique at first glance, it used the idea of Kodachrome as a destination, rather than an issue that could have helped in making the film stand out among the rest of the road movie genre. I found myself comparing the storyline to things I’d already seen, lessening my interest in the film overall because I was constantly thinking of where I’d seen these actions before.
The film was saved, for me, through the actors within the film, as well as the stunning cinematography. Elizabeth Olsen’s character was perfect for her, as she played the young, playful nurse who not only acted as the merger between the father-son conflict, but was the character that brought out the realness of both. I’d say the film lacked in the writing, yet was pieced together by the acting and the character development, rather than the overall plot.
When picking to watch “Kodachrome,” I thought I would be getting a film concerning much more about Kodak and the underlying historical context that the film is based on. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to find the lack of film references in the writing and more of a father-son bond. If the film was named something completely different, maybe the experience would have been more easily enjoyable. Although, the character relationships and the stunning visuals, actually shot on 35mm film, still made it something that I would recommend if you’re looking for a touching father-son journey on the road.
Rachel Blumberg can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org