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      The Pale Blue Eye Review: Christian Bale and Harry Melling shine in forgettable mystery thriller

    The Pale Blue Eye Review : Christian Bale and Harry Melling shine in forgettable mystery thriller

    The Pale Blue Eye review: Even though the thriller’s main mystery starts to feel a little predictable, actors Christian Bale and Harry Melling carry it with their steady performances.

    In The Pale Blue Eye, Edgar Allan Poe imagines himself becoming a detective at West Point during his brief tenure as a military cadet in 1830. When Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) is summoned to the US Military Academy by higher-up officials to handle a hazardous situation, Edgar (Harry Melling) follows him. Leroy Fry, a second-year cadet, was discovered dead from what appears to be suicide. Former New York City police officer Landor, who is renowned for cracking high-profile crimes, looks to be the ideal candidate.

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    The mood of this brooding drama is created by writer-director Scott Cooper’s adaptation of Louis Bayard’s book of the same name. The film is set during the ferocious Hudson Valley winters, and the dreary scenery and perfect snow conceal the film’s gory crimes. When Landor discovers that Leroy’s heart was removed from his body after death, he begins to look into possible connections to the occult. He brings the attractive, enthusiastic young man into his group and solicits his assistance as the insider on campus.

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    The movie uses this made-up version of the well-known poet and portrays Edgar as a sensitive yet smart young man who is ready to play detective alongside Landor. The Pale Blue Eye is driven by Landor and Edgar’s investigations into the case, which become murkier when they identify a “evil bunch” of cadets alongside Fry. The film continues to focus on the principal actors and their banter as they grow closer to figuring out who is responsible for these gruesome deaths despite the addition of another murder and a missing persons case to their caseload.

    Even if concepts like immortality, witch hunting, and occult rituals are explored, the underlying mystery still feels a bit routine. Lea (Lucy Boynton), the daughter of Dr. Marquis, a physician at West Point, attracts Edgar’s attention. We’d like to learn more about the broody detective and his enigmatic past, though. Naturally, the movie burdens him with a horrible past. Landor, a widower, is still coming to terms with the fact that his little daughter Mattie also left him. His backstory adds to the film’s gloomy atmosphere.

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    The movie would have been far more compelling if The Pale Blue Eye had been able to balance the major suspense with the growth of Landor and Poe’s characters. The only indications of Christian’s loneliness are his weathered face and his mute observations of Landor. Harry gives a performance that is on par with Christian’s, adopting the persona of the smart poet who is readily influenced by those around him. The most interesting part in the movie belongs to the younger actor, who is well-known for his work in the Harry Potter series and the television show The Queen’s Gambit.

    The who’s who of talent from both sides of the Atlantic is represented in the ensemble cast, which also includes Gillian Anderson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Simon McBurney, Timothy Spall, and Robert Duvall. It was wonderful to see 92-year-old veteran Robert contribute to the investigation in some little way.

    The Pale Blue Eye : With long taper candles and roaring fires, cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi provides the interiors of the film with a much-needed dose of warmth. Most of the exteriors are gloomy and bleak. The movie makes the obvious allusions to the poet’s work—mentioning ravens, hearts, and deft wordplay—but in the end, it is more focused on Edgar’s persona and his moral predicament. A little lacklustre as well is the grand revelation.

    Although director Scott gets off to a terrific start, the 128-minute film loses its momentum. The Pale Blue Eye on Netflix only succeeds due of Christian and Harry’s compelling performances.

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