“Manchester by The Sea” (2016 Film, Kenneth Lonergan)
“Manchester by The Sea” is a 2016 American independent film directed by Kenneth Lonergan. The intention for the movie was to share that some families have extreme tragedies where in this case, the main character Lee Chandler had a difficult time forgiving himself for being the contributing factor of the loss of his three kids and most recently the loss of his brother, Joey Chandler. Joey left custody to Lee unexpectedly, leading him to make a big life changing decision. Despite the tragic deaths that occurred, the main part of the story was about how the two main characters, Lee Chandler and Patrick Chandler were lost in their lives and trying to figure each other out. At that point, Lee had to agree that he would take care of Patrick if something ever happened to Joey, but he denied and stated that he was incapable of raising Patrick, which became the main part of the story.
Lee Chandler lives in Boston, Massachusetts in an apartment where he works as a janitor and a maintenance man for the apartment building, he lives in. The opening scenes showed when Lee prior to him developing emotional baggage. This was because, Lee’s mental state went downhill when started off when his first family fell apart where he got drunk one night and accidently burned down his house by forgetting to close the fireplace. As a result of the accident, he lost his children and his ex-wife got separated.
Due to the cold weather, the ground was frozen to bury Joey Chandler. During that time, Lee was there for Patrick, however he was not emotionally capable of taking care of him. Patrick’s personality was quite normal for his age where he was mature, straightforward and intelligent. Casey Affleck successfully demonstrated Lee’s pain by getting drunk, starting random fights, suicide attempts, social withdrawals from people who cared about him. On the other hand, Lucas Hedges and Casey Affleck complemented each other in a way the movie was more pleasurable than it should be.
Kenneth Lonergan’s film was a success because the story can be relatable to viewers that are going through similar situations in life. It would be interesting if Lonergan can create a sequel to the story where there can be even more character development on Lee’s end and Patrick’s end and perhaps to have two separate movies about Lee and Patrick or a movie about how Lee and Patrick reunite. Overall, Lonergan’s film was enjoyable because it educated viewers about how differently people react to death and how two misfits helped each other out during crisis.