2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

Intense, yet stiff.

If feeling like you’ve gone through 10 years of marriage struggle in the space of 2 hours sounds like fun, you’re in for a treat! Not the best subject matter to be acting out on their Honeymoon, but newlyweds Angelina Jolie-Pitt and Brad Pitt chose to shoot a film about a loveless marriage, penned and directed by Angelina herself.

Has-been writer Roland (Brad Pitt) and wife Vanessa (Angelina Jolie-Pitt) have travelled to a seaside French town as inspiration for Roland’s writing. Their already tense relationship strains to breaking point when a newly-married couple move into the room next door.

We can only hope that the film was less dispiriting to make than to watch. Not to say that this is a bad thing; the fact that such emotions of anguish could be transferred to the viewer is evidence of the quality of the acting, writing and so forth. However, it needed to have been worth it. I’m reminded of sitting through Breaking Bad and going through all of that pain and heartache – it was worth it in the end because it had enough kick in the storyline to completely satisfy. By The Sea doesn’t really have quite the same highs and lows to balance out all the emotion; for you to leave the cinema feeling like the distress was entirely justified.

By The Sea premieres in Sweden on November 13.

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