Fay Grim – Hal Hartley

Fay is a single mother just trying to get by since her husband disappeared and her brother got sent to prison, when a CIA office convinces her to help track down her husband’s journals. When I saw this movie I didn’t realize it was a sequel to Henry Fool, both done by Hal Hartley, and I might have felt differently had I seen the first part. The film is still accessible, proven by the fact that I had no idea of its sequel status, although a bit unusual. The camera shots are done on angles and the character interactions are some of the best I’ve seen in some time; however, the movie starts as a comedy about a woman trying to help her son and suddenly becomes an intense drama about international terrorism and the child is ready to be abandoned. While the shift is abrupt, almost as if two authors worked on separate halves, it is achieved with inexpiably seamlessness that makes the ending all the more unsatisfying. Without giving away information, I’ll state that the movie doesn’t so much end, as fall into the annoying contemporary fiction habit of simply stopping. The jarring result made me angry; perhaps Hartley will continue the story in another ten years.