The release of Arthur Cohn’s latest project, The Yellow Handkerchief, is the serendipitous product of what one person’s international success can maneuver. This particular individual is everyone’s favorite disaffected teen, Kristen Stewart, who stars in this Ugayan Prasad directed film. With an outstanding cast that includes both Maria Bello, William Hurt and Eddie Redmayne, The Yellow Handkerchief definitely strays from the conventional blockbuster release – but certainly holds a message worth hearing.

The Players:

  • Director: Udayan Prasad
  • Writers: Erin Dignam (screenplay), Pete Hamill (story)
  • Cast: Kristen Stewart, William Hurt, Eddie Redmayne, Maria Bello, Emmanuel Cohn,
  • Original Score: Jack Livesey
  • Cinematography: Chris Menges

The Plot:

The movie highlights three total strangers: Brett Hanson (Hurt), an ex-convict, just released from prison after serving six years for manslaughter, Martine (Stewart), a typically lonely and subversive teenager, and Gordy (Redmayne) a quirky, socially inept, loner. Through a whacky series of events, the trio ends up road-tripping through post-Katrina Louisiana in Gordy’s car. Martine wants to cut loose, Gordy wants to get closer to Martine, and Brett’s got nothing better to do than mull over a potential hunt for May (Bello), his ex-wife.

The Good:

  • Characters/Performances: Each member of this ensemble exhibits a stunning portrayal of human nature. These characters are strikingly relatable. These are people we know – that freaky outcast from school, your teenage friend who’s struggling with self-identity, and that totally misunderstood old cuss who dove into some serious bad luck. This story isn’t particularly intense – but the magnitude of the connection the audience will share with these characters is heart-wrenching.
  • Message: The Yellow Handkerchief reminds us that it’s never too late to start over. Everyone needs a second chance – from the convicts to the kid next door. Simple, but impossibly important.
  • Eddie Redmayne: Every performance was memorable, but Mr. Redmayne’s portrayal of Gordy was notably impressive. You want to strangle, laugh at, laugh with, and cry over this perfectly tragic young man. I can’t remember the last time a character had such a vast affect on me.

The Bad:

  • The Story: There’s no captivating way to summarize this story because all abridged versions will seem totally bizarre. Let’s be real, what group of brainless morons would hop into a car with total strangers and drive around for a week? Sure, it’s a movie, anything can happen but here’s the thing, Hammil’s characters are quite realistic – so throwing them into a hardly believable story deflects that.


In short, The Yellow Handkerchief isn’t anything to write home about – but if you’re in the mood for some feel-good, tear-jerking moments (and I hate to say it, some Kristen Stewart), check it out!

Rating: 7/10

The Yellow Handkerchief will debut in theaters in limited release on February 26, 2010.



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