Four Minute Stare; A Rant

On May 17th, 2019 the film “The Sun Is Also A Star,” and adaptation of the book by the same name, was released in theaters. Directed by Ry-Russo Young, the film came out to like warm reviews. It was an okay film, made for teenage girls to fantasize about falling in love at first sight.

The film was okay, the editing was choppy, almost like a high budget youtube video, or a decent lifetime movie. The cinematography was nothing to special. The writing was okay if not too contrived (like the fact that the main character literally has Deus Ex Machina on the back of her jacket which probes the love intrest to basically stalk her. If it wasn’t for the fact that he wasn’t stalking her though she could’ve been hit by a car, so I guess that’s good?)

Just about everything in that film is okay. There is one or two good moments in there but nothing too much, except for one particular thing.

The score.

The orginal motion picture soundtrack for the film “The Sun Is Also A Star,” composed by Herdís Stefánsdóttir is pretty good. I’m not a music expert or anything but the compser seems to have poured his passion into this soundtrack, because for what it’s worth it holds more emotional weight than anything said by anybody in the movie.

There is a slight little nitpick I have to pick with this score though, and it has to do with one song in particular. The song in question is the second to last piece “Four Minute Stare.”

Let me give some context, to prove the unlikely couple can fall in love, our protagonist Natasha Kingsley (Yara Shahidi) holds the hands of her companion, Daniel Bae (Charles Melton), for four minutes before she is deported back to Jamaica. They’ve spent a whole day together on this crazy little adventure getting to know each and now she must leave him to go back to her home country. The song that plays during this touching moment is the perfectly named piece “Four Minute Stare.”

After watching the movie and exiting the theater I forgot most of it but that song stuck with me so I decided to add it too my playlist of movie scores I like. To my surprise the song, is actually 4:53 despite the name.

Its a small little nitpick but just hear me out. This whole film is about time. Natasha being a woman of science believes time is relevant and love isn’t real. Daniel is a man of romantics, he believes time is precious and love is special. They go back and fourth on these two topics, as they only have 24 hours together. They decided that to show that their test results of love are positive they would hold hands and stare into each others eyes after the 24 hours for four whole minutes, this theoretically would sync up their heartbeats.

When it comes for their final 4 minutes together you feel it with them. You feel the four mintues pass by and it feels like the special moment could last forever. Its touching and you feel as if they actually love each other. When the song ends and they let go of each others hands you feel like it went by too fast. You just wanted it to last one more mintue, and it would’ve been nice if the music reflected that as well.

For a movie about appreciating the time you spend with the ones you love, this moment is her learning that just when its too late. She had four mintues left and she just wanted even a mintue more. The song could’ve given that same feeling, fading as the four minutes end leaving you wanting more.

Its a nitpick I know, but is it too much to ask a film like this to be better?

Yes.

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