Talk it to the Locket
The Locket is a tale of a woman with problems, one who destroys lives because she was once treated unfairly as a child. She lies, she steals, and she's probably even killed for this one particular obsession of hers.
Some older films have seem to take themselves too seriously. I think it's the emphesis on literate dialog, which often lifts a film. The subject of this film is messy and emotional, in a realm where words will fail even the most eloquent speaker. The result is a self-important exercise in hand-wringing.
In the case of The Locket, it doesn't help that we are burdoned with a tremendous amount of exposition. A flashback in a flashback in a flashback? As a device, it does reveal information effectively, but it's a bit ridiculous for serious storytelling, removing us so far from the present action of the film. The film undermines any suspense it might build, by giving us such a clear hint of where we're going to end up.
Which leaves us with the one strength of the film, the performances, especially of the men in this woman's life. These men do get tormented, and we get the idea quite forcefully. Yet all this energy is mischanneled.
The ending has a clever way of tying the whole story together, and the buildup to the moment of climax is appropriately overwrought to match the rest of the film. It's all melodrama, not particularly good, not horribly bad, but with little else to offer.
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