The Movie Waffler New Release Review - Clear Lake | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - Clear Lake

A young man is offered a second chance to fulfill his childhood dream.

Directed by: Mick Paulusma
Starring: Roddy Piper, Daryl Dorge, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, CindyMarie Small, Leonard Waldner

The film begins by introducing the main character, Jimmy (Dorge), and his two friends, Pete (Waldner) and Jenny (Murphy-Dyson), as children, doing what all children do; playing. The three want to cross a dangerous frozen lake to see hundreds of Snow Geese before they migrate, as winter is coming to a close. Enter Jimmy's loving, but extremely overprotective father, Wayne (Piper), who clearly doesn't want to, or maybe just can't, understand his own son's fascination with the birds.
After Jimmy discovers his dad's most recent plan to stop him from seeing the geese, he decides to leave after his father falls asleep. As the weather gets worse, Jimmy's mother checks on him but finds he has run away, and, understandably, the two panic and go out into the deadly storm to find their son. They end up getting in a car wreck that kills the mother and paralyzes the father before they are able to find Jimmy.
Fast forward twenty years and we find that Jimmy still has not made it across the lake, and he actually still lives and cares for his disabled father, feeling it is his own fault. Quickly, through Jimmy's interactions with the townspeople, it becomes clear that, over the years, Jimmy has developed a reputation, and pity, from the rest of the town, and it is apparent that unless he does something drastic, his life will pass him by before he ever actually lives it.
With such little effort in deep character exploration, and spotty acting at best, it is hard to relate to any character on almost any level. Even losing his mother, who helped fuel his love of geese, seems to have barely any effect on Jimmy until he confronts his father, who flat out blames him for the accident and her death. Wayne seems to spend the entire film in a roller coaster of emotions toward the subject of his son and his obsession. As for the three friends, they do get reunited and even express that, after years of being apart, you can't just pick up where you left off, but in actuality they do quite easily as they join together to cross the frozen lake once again.
While I am sure that some will find some value in this sort of "coming of age" tale, all I got from it was that Jimmy cared for nothing more than seeing some birds that showed up in his yard all the time. Coming of age films only work when characters are developed, lovable, and experience things to which the audience can relate. This film has almost none of these things, but I will give credit that it does seem to have the best of intentions that, for multiple reasons, just do not make the necessary connections to the audience to forge a lasting impression. I guess I just don't see the point of this film because, at times, it seems it is about growing up and moving on, but I don't believe any character ever really comes close to doing either.

Andy Comer