The best parts of “The Greatest” are also its worst. Unfortunately, Shana Feste has created a film about spectacular moments but she failed to connect them.
This family drama is all about life and death. It is about loss and strength. Allen (Pierce Brosnan) and Grace Brewter (Susan Sarandon) are faced with the death of their son, Bennett. At that moment walks in Rose (Carey Mulligan), pregnant with Bennett’s child.
What stays with me after the end of the film are some very distinct moments. The honesty with which Shana Feste crafts her scenes is remarkable and is the high point in the drama. Each character has their own catharsis, distinct of the rest. For a second it seems to fool you into thinking that you are with them. However, as you move to the next scene that link is broken. The overall film suffers from this disconnect.
The most powerful connection the audience does make is between Allen and Rose when Rose takes Allen to a “Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead In” party. This is one particular moment to watch out for Brosnan and Mulligan’s performance and the layers that Feste has created in this moment of joint abreaction. Another powerful moment of association to watch out for is between Brosnan and Sarandon at the beach.
The greatest moments of the film are the ones that bring more than one plot in face of another, and unfortunately the lack of those moments leaves to many holes in the film. Unlike films like Crash and Babel, that have multiple stories that connect to some end, this film has a constant connection that does not justify parallel plots.