The third part that adds to the film’s effectiveness is the quiet, observational direction. For the first third or so, I thought the movie was a documentary. As the style absolutely works for the narrative and Lugacy proves she has a storied career ahead of her as a filmmaker, that is not a complaint.
But This Is Not A War Story is not quite perfect, though this criticism is not one, sort of. See, the version I watched for this review does not have its sound mix finalized yet. As such, there are some scenes where the sound just drops out entirely. It happens seemingly at random, which does take one out of the film. While the dialogue does not ever vanish (unless there is meant to be none in the quiet scenes), there are moments where it becomes so soft it is hard to hear. In some scenes, the background noises do seem to be the point, so it works. But at other times, what is being said is clearly meant to be the focus, and it is not always audible.
“…Lugacy proves she has a storied career ahead…”
However, as stated, this flaw is not really one, as the fact that the sound mix is not complete is part of how the movie is being presented at this time. Hopefully, by the time that This Is Not A War Story is publicly released, the sound mix will be as excellent as the rest of it. But, for my viewing, the one I must review, it does not totally work. Mind you, it is not enough to sink the production or diminish its power, but it is a problem… for now.
This Is Not A Story boasts stunning acting, fantastic music, a heartfelt plot, and impeccable directing. It is a remarkable sophomore feature for writer-director-actor-producer Talia Lugacy, her first in 14 years. For veterans who feel alone, this drama proves that you are not. For film lovers, this proves to be a riveting, heartbreaking must watch.
"…for veterans who feel alone, this drama proves that you are not."