What’s the first thing you think of when I say Hawaii? It’s probably nice wheather, hula dancers and lots of beauty. If you think in movies you might think of Lilo and Stitch, but all these images are bright and beautiful and really makes it feel like a holiday. The Descendants is set on Hawaii too, but does away with those initial feelings about the islands and uses it as a setting for a family drama.
Matt King (George Clooney) is an attorney who is shocked when his wife ends up in a coma after a boating accident. He’s right in the middle of deciding whether or not a big part of Hawaii, for which he is the caretaker, should be sold for exploitation or should remain in his care and all of a sudden it is up to him to take care of his daughters, something he doesn’t seem to have done in while. It’s a stressful situation as he also has to deal with the emotions of others. As the movie progresses he gets to know about some family secrets which makes the pressure on him almost unbearable.
George Clooney has had a pretty good track record when it comes to his past few movies, so I went into this without any knowledge and was completely transported into this reality his character lives in. It makes you feel what it’s like to live in Hawaii, where wearing floral shirts is nothing special and where it’s not always sunny, with the weather almost mirroring his feelings.
As usual Clooney manages to show his emotions simply by looking in a specific way. But he’s not the only who stands out. The whole cast is top-notch. Shailene Woodley as one of the daughters shows a lot of emotion and is very convincing. I also really liked Robert Forster, who only appears in a couple of scenes but is very funny and serious at the same time. You see how is character is affected by what has happened to his daughter.
The Descendants is the type of drama I can really enjoy, it has complex characters and a story that keeps just adding depth to the emotions. If I saw this last year it would probably have ended up in my top 10. Worth watching!