Families that stick together soar to great heights, unfortunately for Claudia Llosa's film Aloft we see a family headed in a downward spiral after a horrible accident leaves them unable to cope.
The film centers on the very temperamental character, Ivan (Cillian Murphy) who takes a liking to the art of falconry. He doesn't socialize and seems caged up like the birds that he collects. He feels a lot of angst towards both his mother Nana (Jennifer Connelly) and his younger brother (Winta McGrath) mostly because he feels weighted down by his brother's illness as it tends to cut short a lot of his personal exploration and free time. As a result this film had me feeling aloof for the majority of it.
Although I felt moved by some of the powerful dialogue, I felt cheated by the lack of character development. Cillian Murphy does a good job playing a bitter man that grew up full of resentment and hate, but the journey and character arc was very uninspiring. His character had so much more potential. As for Gully, I really wanted to explore this character more, but sadly he was more of a footnote in an otherwise overly melodramatic film. Jennifer Connelly's character Nana was the most vulnerable, but she proved to be a mystery in terms of her motives and behavior at times.
This is the third feature film by director Claudia Llosa and she creates a film that doesn't quite reach its potential, as her screenplay feels a bit disjointed and underdeveloped. I was particularly disappointed by the direction of the second half of the film as it falls flat and seems a bit rushed. Llosa has just scratched the surface with Aloft a film I cannot quite recommend but time will tell how far she can soar with her next effort.