Memories & Motorway
After months of searching Jamie (Jim Sturgess) discovers his estranged father, Frank (Ray Winstone), is living in a secure facility for the unstable as he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease but is prone to violent outbursts. When opportunity presents itself Jamie abducts Frank and takes him on a road trip, not easy when at any moment Frank can get violent, act forgetful or just be out right mischievous. But as they make it down South it becomes clear that Jamie's motives for busting Frank out may not be all that they first appear.
There is no denying that "Ashes" is an intriguing movie which attempts to fuse a mystery/thriller storyline with a road trip movie which in turn fuses in the difficulties and mild comedy of when one of the passengers is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. But it doesn't quite gel, oh it is interesting, sometimes amusing but not really that thrilling. I suppose what I am saying is that if you were to break "Ashes" down in to its individual bits each bit would be okay, but together it doesn't feel right.
As such we have this interesting performance from Ray Winstone as Frank who we watch as he deals with Alzheimer's disease. This isn't some sensitive portrayal this is a drooling portrayal of a man whose moments of clarity are becomes less and less frequent and who spends time drooling whilst in his own world but is also having outbursts of violence as the world and people around him start to confuse him. As I said it is an interesting performance from Ray Winstone but the character at times feels wrong when the story tries to use his condition to create road trip style issues be it a moment of clarity when he steals a car to episodes in a hotel.
But then we get the thriller and mystery side of "Ashes" which not only delivers Jamie's situation who is clearly in some sort of trouble with heavies threatening his wife but we also see in to Frank's past and his marriage. And yes these is mystery with the past and present connecting but it never gets you truly riveted by the unfolding story. And to be honest the flashbacks to Frank's past never feed in smoothly to the present, they often seem to be just tossed in after a scene in the present is done with.
What this all boils down to is that "Ashes" is certainly an interesting movie with an interesting idea but it doesn't quite come together to make for a solid 100 minutes of entertainment.