Saturday, April 9, 2016
RETURN TO SENDER (2015)
Directed By: Fouad Mikati
Written By: Patricia Beauchamp & Joe Gossett
Cinematography By: Russell Carpenter
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Shiloh Fernandez, Nick Nolte, Illeana Douglas, Camryn Manheim, Rumor Willis, Alexi Wasser, Scout Taylor-Compton, Kier O’Donnell, Ryan Phillipe
An attractive but lonely nurse accepts a blind date setup by a co-worker and arranges for them to meet at her home. A stranger arrives on her porch before the arranged time and she mistakes him for her blind date. The stranger rapes her and leaves her seriously traumatized. Her life falls apart and she enters depression. She learns much later he is in a prison an hour away and begins visiting him, first to confront him and her fears. Then she starts to flirt and her spirits improve dramatically in the rest of her life.
Now this film has gotten bad reviews or at least low ratings on services that I have seen. I will say it is not that bad. It's not great or good, but it remains interesting.
As it seems this film is built more on movie logic then any real logic or showcasing any real emotions or people. As the only person who seems grounded in reality is Nick Nolte's character.
The film deals with a idealistic young woman with an a type personality who is raped and the man quickly captured. Trying to deal with the turmoil afterwards. She decides to turn over a new leaf and contact the rapist in jail. Not necessarily at first to forgive him, but slowly they strike up a friendship. As she see's it is to get herself over her grief and try to go back to normal.
Then after he serves his time he looks her up. They stay in contact and meet.
Now this film has no poker face as it is obvious what is going on from the beginning. So that whenever the film feels that it wants to shock us. It is something we have already predicted. Though never truly giving a definitive reason using one explanation which doesn't exactly answer everything and seemingly other motives. --That make the film the. Come off as simplistic and feels like a cheat.
Now Rosamund Pike in the lead role is excellent. One only wishes she was in a better film. As well as her character. Who is so clinical and cold. It reminds you of her in GONE GIRL. Only here she isn't as vivid and seems chained down more.
She and her performance are what save the film and make it watchable for the most part other then Nick Nolte. As the character she plays is so fascinating. You wish she could have another chance at playing her in a better film or a film that rises to the occasion of her performance and uses her better.
As the film feels like a brutal lifetime film mixed with a more dramatic episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.
That seems like a survivors story, dressed up in a troubling poison soaked valentine.
It's a drama that at different points, hints at taking a turn to numerous genres. So that it keeps you on your toes. As though it maintains an air of mystery, though is afraid of giving too much away or isn't sure itself. Where it wants to go, depending on how you look at it.
As by the end she gets her revenge and it is revealed that she is a psychotic sociopath and has always been one even before the incident happened. All the incident is is allow her to be more vivid And have a justification this time. As the film points out her rapist character isn't misunderstood or a decent guy who did a wrong act. He is a horrible human being who has done this and will keep doing it. She just happened to run into the wrong person this time. Where the film makes her justified even if she is just as bad or worse then him. It would have been a bit more interesting to make the audience wonder a little on those questions. As the film ends it doesn't even give the audience the relief or sense of justice of seeing her kill the character. Just letting us know by her final words about him of his fate. Though by the end of the film. You end up feeling sorry for her father who is blind to all of her problems and crimes, but loves her unconditionally and you wonder how she truly feels about him and if he pisses her off will he be the next victim?
Though the film seems to be saying that while his character is a criminal and attacks those whenever he wants to with no rhyme or reason just based on his desires. She is worse but only attacks of you cross her or enter her domain. And as he crossed her path and attacked her he must pay worse than anyone else before.
The end has a good set up so that we see how she is goal oriented, seems to be social to a degree, but usually slightly removed from her friends and opening up. We see she is paranoid of germs and her personal space. So that we get to know her and notice how her world slowly crumbles after the film began with her dreams coming true.
So as we wallow in her nightmare and the fact that they live in such a small town. It is hard to believe that even after being hospitalized. That her friends nor supervisors knew about what happened to her at all. Even though she was supposed to be going on a blind date with one of her friends husbands co-worker and he is the one who discovers her.
Considering. The material the film surprisingly have a respectable character actor cast.
The film seeks to come off as a character based thriller and instead comes off more as a drama.
The film is full of ideas. It is just when they come together they come off as slight and even a bit far-fetched. The film is entertaining as long as you go with it. It could even reach the level of crowd pleaser to a degree. Though at certain points it is hard to sympathize with any character other then Nick Nolte.
Once you begin to question. You will think yourself right out of the film.