When death meets life, life becomes somewhat happy and sad at the same time.
Harold is a teenage boy obsessed with death so much that he innovates new ways of dying and even shows them to his mom or his friends. He meets Maude, a 79 year old woman at one of the funerals and his life changes significantly that he starts hating death.
Till the final act Hal Ashby held this up well, and then just when I started liking Harold, he gave up on him and made Harold a simple human like most others. "Maude, please don't go" Ah, I disliked this part of Harold and thats where this movie fell apart for me.
It's a disgusting depiction of death and yet it is very interesting, coz we have rarely seen such a boy who is so much obsessed with death and rarely we have seen a teenage boy falling for a 80 year old woman. Ah, this is a love story of a completely different kind. On one side, his mother is setting up dates with young women and on the other side, he is liking this old woman who lives life to the fullest and does not seem to be giving up on life.
When he decides to get her into his life by marrying, she reveals that the time is up and says 80 is the perfect age to die and thus guy weeps as if he never was even acquainted and what it feels like dying. Hmm, I would have liked this transition to be more on the slow side rather than a rushed up thing.
The writing is good and so is the direction and even acting. Ruth Gordon as Maude and Bud Cort as Harold brought something fresh to their characters, you can name that innocence or amateurishness, but it was refreshing.
Hal Ashby the director who is now considered great did a good job in trying to portray two different attitudes of life and death and marry them in emotions by making the dead learn about life. It would have been a beautiful marriage of course, but what I did not like only is that our protagonist Harold changes what he thrived on his own life. Technically, I wish the production values, the cinematography were better than shown and all else seems to be right. I liked the sound design though specially for the death scenes.
I am going with 3/5 for a good film that makes two poles meet and engages them in a relationship.