The Lake House marks the return of the hit Speed pair of Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock after a gap of 12 years, and boy, is the chemistry intact! The movie could not have been more different than the 1994 thriller, not just in the plot structure but also in the extent to which the reader is open to suspending his disbelief.
The Lake House takes too many liberties with the plot, meandering between the past and present, since they are occupied by different people in different time zones. Kind of a rogue scientist's fantasy come true, but this one does not even touch science.
It looks at how love develops between Alex and Kate when the two can never meet in real time, since the latter lives two years ahead of the former. Yes, the plot is crazy and also, towards the end, marked by holes so gaping a non-footballer like me can easily score a goal through them.
Having said that, The Lake House scores on account of the simmering intensity of its lead cast. Both Keanu and Sandra breathe life into the anguish of two lovers who cannot meet due to a curious twist in their destinies. A recurrent theme in the movie is Jane Austen's Persuasion, which also deals with love lost and discovered again; of course, without the time warp sci-fi element involved. Thank goodness!
Of the two, Keanu has a definite edge in portraying a boyish emotional vulnerability. Watch the movie only for the scene in which he breaks down after his father's death. Move on, Heath Ledger, your final scene in Brokeback Mountain has been washed clean!
So, do go watch this movie, for its surreal plot, slow narrative pace and a quiet sadness that lingers in the eyes of Alex and Kate. And yes, also for the track This Never Happened Before, which comes along several times during the movie and takes you to another sublime realm.
On the book front, am reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which, when people used to say is a great read, would baffle me. How could a book that had pictures of fairies and spoke about math hypotheses from the point of view of a child suffering from Asperger's aspire to interest an adult?
But I was wrong. It is a great read; the narrator wins your heart by writing about a hard-to-decipher world with a special-needs child's innocence. The most beautiful bits are those that capture Christopher's relationship with his dad, who is trying his best to raise him given the circumstances (his wife's left him, Christopher isn't an easy child, and to top it all, he's killed a dog!).