Ghost World

A review by Mike Shea   Movie Rating: ( * * · · · )    DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )

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Being a movie based upon a graphic novel, I expected a little more from Ghost World than what I got. It wasn’t a horrible movie, mind you, but it lacked something I ask from just about every movie I see. A story. There are three elements one must have in a story, a beginning, a middle and an end. Ghost world had the first two, but not the last. While it spent a great deal of effort building up it’s characters, and even some realistic relationships - general relationships, not just romantic ones – it seemed to excuse itself from having any kind of cohesive ending. That’s what killed the movie in my eyes.

The strongest point of Ghost World is the relationship between our heroine, Enid, and her relationship with the outcast LP blues buff, Seymore, played perfectly by Steve Buscemi. He is a character full of depth, that grows more and more the more we see him. Their relationship grows and they both begin to see how alike they really are. Enid’s relationships with her artistic nature, her father, her normal friend and her future are probably the only things that move the movie along, but they are well done.

It is the lack of any real story that kills this movie. Instead of a traditional conflict, we get a lot of scenes where we wonder what direction it took people. Instead of moving forward, people take a step forward and two steps backwards. By the end of the movie we are left hanging onto a thread, wondering what the hell anyone is thinking. Our heroine makes a choice but we have no idea why, and frankly we wish she could have taken another.

The DVD release of Ghost World is a good representation of the film. It has a 1.85 to 1 16x9 enhanced picture and a Dolby Digital soundtrack. There are no extras, but for a small film like this I really didn’t ask for any.

There are a lot of great comic books out there that should be made into movies. I am not sure why anyone picked Ghost World, but here it is. If it had any kind of cohesive story or the characters acted in any kind of reliable manner it would have been a much better movie than it ended up being.