So after a soul satisfying weekend we are back with Monday Blues. It is always hard to drag yourself to work and specifically the Monday following the new year. But with the year just starting off, we have an interesting mix of films and series lined up whose review you will always get on Popcorn Reviewss. So lets begin. First up, I have finished watching the new English film Mass. I have been a part of many films groups where I noticed that this film was popping up far too frequently. And so I decided to give this film a shot without knowing what to expect. Is the film worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Mass follows the story of two couples who meet six years after a horrible tragedy(a concept which we have seen in the Hindi documentary Rubaru Roshni). The story is conversational and you always run a risk of getting monotonous if the talk isn’t as engaging. But remotely was I prepared of the things to follow. The screenplay almost takes place inside a room with just four principle characters and it was one of the most emotionally draining movie watching experiences. The conversations begin with them being awkward yet as things start to unfold you are emotionally invested in them. The drama unfolds like a psychology class which did dwell deeper into the psyche of one of their children. Like in Drive My Car, there are no flashbacks, a simple tell all from the point of view of the current scenario. The narrative is extremely balanced that makes you sympathize with both parties. The conversations are truly heartfelt and it may not be an easy watch witnessing one couple recalling the tragedy and describing it. It is rather unnerving and unsettling to sit through the conversations featuring four characters who are well fleshed out and different from one another, yet a victim of circumstances feeling the same set of emotions. The drama is an epitome of strength, valour, bitterness and ultimately forgiveness and letting things go, and you feel each and every beat. Such a wonderfully penned screenplay although a niche as most people will not enjoy the conversational nature of the drama.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are conversational but impactful and definitely emotionally draining. The BGM is sparingly used with huge bouts of silence on display that adds up to the environment of pathos and remorse. Director Fran Kranz is exceptional in his debut vehicle. He keeps things experimental but almost no moving shots, just fixed frames that focus on the characters and their expressions and he delivers a piece of art for the ages.
The performances are quite brilliant. Breeda Wool as Judy has her moments to shine. Reed Birney as Richard as the businessman is excellent. A character that wants to express yet holds back, he is terrific. Jason Isaacs as Jay on the other hand has pain bottled up inside him that comes out as an outburst, beautifully pulled off. Which brings me to Ann Dowd who is brilliant as Linda. Not only does she express her pain but she also feels she is responsible for not controlling it in a terrific final act. This should win her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor Female this year. Martha Plimpton as Gail delivers a heartfelt performance. From being bitter to ultimately forgiving, she has a wonderful character arc and beautifully portrayed!
Mass might be niche but it is one of the most emotionally challenging films that I have watched recently. Highly Recommended!