The Station Agent | Review
Loneliness is the ticket for this ride.
Soul-searching in mass droves and chasing locomotive trains are the make-up of this simple, yet sensitive memo that cleaned up the top awards at this yearâ€™s Sundance. While touching audiences and film critics alike, director Tom McCarthyâ€™s drama banks on the poetry of trains and on silent frustrations that live within us all, but while striving for a less emotional charged, authentic portrayal of pain this tale seems to get a chopped down in size treatment where possible poignant moments are given a graze the surface focus and where abandoned railway station house in a place call Newfoundland are supposed to give the film more character than the characters themselves.
While the character of Fin played by actor Peter Dinklage (Just a Kiss) is the perfect prototype of an individual who wouldnâ€™t share a penny for his thoughts, it is the filmâ€™s surrounding two other characters that are either too one-dimensional or whoâ€™s end of the relationship doesnâ€™t seem to fit with the protagonist. The character of Joe played by Bobby Cannavale (The Bone Collector) is good for a couple of laughs but in the end he comes off looking like an annoying yapping Chihuahua waiting for a bone to be thrown his way, while the middle-aged woman in a bout of child loss, relationship breakups and depression (Patricia Clarkson – The Safety of Objects ) is too secluded and not explored enough to make the viewer care about her problems. At times this is about a small personâ€™s world inside the cruel stupid humanity, but the film is more concerned about tying these characters together with a common thread, not only does it appear that they are lumped together by convenience but not once are we convinced that these lost souls deserve to co-exist or can even find solace with one another.
The film suffers from a chopped story and matches the tempo of train schedule of a lost city, The Station Agent is painfully slowed down perhaps giving to much weight to each half-moment and not enough emphasis on scenes such as class-room lecture which could have given this picture more of a punch.