The Locket (2002) starring Vanessa Redgrave, Chad Willett, Marguerite Moreau, Lori Heuring directed by Karen Arthur Movie Review

The Locket (2002)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Vanessa Redgrave in The Locket (2002)

Memories on a Chain

When Michael Keddington's (Chad Willett) mother became sick he gave up college in order to care for her right through till she passed away. The family doctor seeing how good he was with his mother arranges for Michael to work at a nursing home where one of the elderly residents he cares for is the bitter Esther Huish (Vanessa Redgrave), a tough old lady who eventually warms to the caring and kind Michael. Michael discovers that Esther has regrets connecting to a faded picture of a man in her locket which leads to him trying to track him down whilst Esther encourages Michael to stand up to his girlfriend's father who would like him to let her go so that she can find someone socially better. But Michael's troubles get worse as he is blamed for a serious incident at the nursing home.

I hope that when I reach old age and no longer feel the urge to work every hour going they still make movies like "The Locket" because this would be the sort of movie I would happily watch of an afternoon and just enjoy the simplicity and good nature of it all. Of course I am nowhere near that age and as such it would be fair to say that I have a more cynical eye now than I probably will have and as such can spot that "The Locket" is a hugely flawed movie, a real audience manipulator.

Mary McDonnell and Chad Willett in The Locket (2002)

So with my cynical eye we have Michael, the nicest guy you ever meet to the point that I reckon if someone hit him on one side of the face he would literally turn the other cheek. He is too much of a nice guy and that means he is too much of a push over which means when his girlfriend's father suggests that he lets her go he accepts this without a fight. Of course there is a reason for this as we need the big coincidence which is Michael's life being quite like Esther's from them both having bad fathers to both letting love go and not fighting for it. It is too much for those who expect more from a movie but as I said works for those who reach a certain time in their life where they just want to enjoy the goodness in humanity rather than the grittiness of reality. Okay so we have some nasty going on with Michael accused of something at the nursing home but again this less about reality and more about manipulating the audience's emotions.

Now the thing is that for the right crowd "The Locket" works and it features enjoyable performances with Vanessa Redgrave bringing plenty of character and charm to the role of Esther even though the character is the sort you only ever stumble across in these sorts of movies. And then there is Chad Willett who certainly delivers nice guy, maybe too nice but then it works even if again it is not a believable character.

What this all boils down to is that "The Locket" isn't going to be for everyone and if you find simplistic, manipulative and good hearted too fake then it probably won't be for you. But if you enjoy easy to watch movies with the minimal amount of nastiness and a lot of good hearted characters then "The Locket" will charm you.