Look Away

An intriguing premise in search of a much better movie, Look Away follows meek teenager Maria (India Eisley) as she begins communicating with her rebellious mirror image and eventually embarks upon a campaign of revenge against her various oppressors. It’s certainly a promising setup that is, virtually from the get-go, employed to hopelessly lackluster and uninvolving effect by filmmaker Assaf Bernstein, as the writer/director has infused Look Away with an often unreasonably deliberate pace that negates the movie’s few positive attributes and consistently prevents the viewer from connecting to the central character’s plight. The aggressively uneventful atmosphere paves the way for a tedious midsection devoid of compelling sequences or encounters, and it’s worth noting, too, that Maria’s inevitable vengeance-fueled exploits, which are just as muted and somber as everything else here, are hardly able to lift the dull proceedings out of their doldrums. The film’s utter failure is especially disappointing given the relative effectiveness of Eisley’s performance and the degree to which her protagonist engenders the viewer’s sympathy (ie this probably would’ve worked better as a straightforward drama about bullying), with the end result a terminally misbegotten endeavor that offers exceedingly little in the way of entertainment value.

* out of ****

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