Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what I've seen over the past week either in film or television. On the film side, if I have written a full length review already, I will post a link to that review. Otherwise, I'll give a brief snippet of my thoughts on the film with a full review to follow at some point later. For television shows, seasons and what not, I'll post individual comments here about each of them as I see fit.
So, here is what I watched this past week:
Like one of my favorite films of 2005 (C.R.A.Z.Y.), The Trap has never been fully released in the United States, thus making it impossible for many of us to even consider seeing it, but mostly keeping us from hearing too much about it in spite of its festival pedigree including Berlinale, Cannes and Toronto. I watched this film as part of our regular Film Club every month. I posted more of my thoughts on the film in the Film Club thread that posted Saturday.
The film is about a couple whose son suffers from seizures due to a heart condition that requires surgery. The cost of the surgery, which their insurance does not cover, is 26,000 Euros. As you would expect from any film wanting to spice itself up with drama, the couple cannot afford it. He works for a failing machinery operation and she works as a teacher. They seek credit and help from friends, but to no avail. Then, after taking out an ad in the newspaper seeing contributions, the husband receives a call from a generous benefactor who wants him to kill someone in exchange for the money. He struggles to decide if he should go through with the act and when he does, guilt and frustration at the slowness of payment threaten not only to destroy his sanity, but his marriage and son along with it.
The performances are solid and a lot of the slowness of plot development reminds me of something director Nicolas Winding Refn might have done. This, however, is far less violent than a Refn film, which gives the audience plenty of opportunity to absorb the various developments in the plot across the hour-forty-five running time. There's no question you feel for the couple and question just how far you might go to protect your child; however, the deeper quandaries have all been tackled ad nauseum in the past. The key to the film's success is the believability of the situation, the realistic nature of the various developments and the twist reveal at the end. While the final scene of the film isn't terribly shocking, the moments leading up to it should surprise most astute moviegoers. It's worth watching simply to see how well crafted a small film with no loud explosions, chases or overly chatty characters can be.
The Hunger Games
I posted my short-form thoughts about a month ago when I first saw The Hunger Games in the theater. I have finally finished the full review of the film, which you can find at the link below. It posted earlier today.