Meester’s Movie Gone Girl Minus Suspense & Thrills
Although Meester puts in a solid performance atop an intriguing plot, The Weekend Away doesn’t provide enough thrills to make it an entertaining watch.
With Netflix The weekend, Leighton Meester finds himself in a situation familiar to many cinematic heroes. A psychological thriller in the vein of missing girl Where The girl on the train The weekend contains all the elements of a classic missing persons mystery. Unfortunately, the film, which is based on the novel of the same name by Sarah Alderson (also the screenwriter here), lacks the same thrills and suspense that have driven so many others in this genre to great heights. Director Kim Farrant finds moments of intelligence, but also takes too long to up the ante. Although Meester puts in a solid performance atop an intriguing plot, The weekend doesn’t provide enough thrills to make it an entertaining watch.
New mother Beth (Meester) has been separated from her daughter and her unhappy marriage in London to indulge in a fun weekend in Croatia with her best friend Kate (Christina Wolfe). Her first night there, Beth hopes for a good dinner and an early bed, but Kate quickly drags her into a wild party…which turns out to be a fatal decision. Beth wakes up the next morning to find Kate missing, and despite her best efforts, no one seems to believe that anything terrible has happened. Armed with a taxi driver named Zain (Ziad Bakri) as an ally, Beth sets out to find out what happened to her friend.
The weekend doesn’t waste much time getting to Kate’s disappearance; after 15 minutes she is gone and Beth is worried. One would then expect Farrant to dive straight into this confusing mystery, but The weekend instead takes a slower approach. The pace is uneven, with a more restrained start that then gives way to quick twists. Beth gradually piece together some details from the night before – which she can’t remember, much to her frustration – but the first steps forward in her investigation only happen because she has Zain to help her. For the first part of The weekend, Beth is more of a passive viewer. It’s only later in the action that she comes up with her own clever moves, including a sneaky encore at an early moment. Beth could be a compelling character, a woman desperate to find her friend in an inhospitable environment. Overall, though, Alderson’s storyline doesn’t give Meester much besides crying and worrying.
Of course, anyone who has seen Meester’s previous work will know that she has the range for a number of characters. The weekendBeth is a far cry from the performance Meester is best known for – Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl — and yet the actress has no problem sinking into her softer persona. Due to how quickly Kate’s demise occurs, it’s hard to get a good read on her friendship with Beth. However, thanks to Meester, this connection is felt through Beth’s desperation to find Kate. Meester lets the audience feel Beth’s pain, especially when a near-midpoint twist takes The weekend in a new direction. The rest of the cast is solid, with Bakri perhaps making the biggest impression as the surprisingly helpful Zain.
With a movie like The weekend, bringing something new to the format is incredibly difficult. There have already been countless other films with the same kind of premise, so all it really takes is a compelling mystery, a healthy amount of suspense, and a devastating twist to win over audiences. Unfortunately, The weekend doesn’t have enough of the second part, thus hampering everything else. The most suspenseful sequence finds Beth discovering something about her creepy owner (Adrian Pezdiric), but the rest of the mystery doesn’t have the same propulsion. This harkens back to the shaky pace, resulting in the biggest twist to come with only 15 minutes left in the film. To be fair, said ending is quite intriguing and fills in the gaps that viewers might not have realized.
Always, The weekendThe solid ending isn’t quite enough to make up for the disappointing trip. There are much more compelling psychological thrillers these days, and this one feels like a merely average effort. Meester is a reason to watch, so fans of his work might find something here. All in all, however, The weekend is a missing persons adventure that isn’t as engrossing as it could have been.
More: Watch The Weekend Away Trailer
The weekend is now streaming on Netflix. It is 91 minutes long and is rated TV-14 for language, violence, and suggestive dialogue.
- The Weekend Away (2022)Release date: March 03, 2022
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