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quietearth [Film Festival 11.14.11] review thriller drama

Year: 2011
Directors: Sean Durkin
Writers: Sean Durkin
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8 out of 10

The further the credits rolled, the louder the chatter got. While sitting in vain waiting for an added scene or some further explanation for the abrupt and unsatisfying ending, I could tell the rest of the theatre agreed. I got the point, I just didn't like it. Don't let that turn you off though, every second of the film is worth the premature ejaculation.

We're thrown into the story post-cult-coital: Martha's had enough. She's left the mind fuck and is on the run. Within 10 minutes of screen time, she's safe but you wouldn't know it. Neither does she. "How far are we away?" Martha asks. "From where?" "From yesterday." The head-trip continues as we wonder, problems aside, if her communal life wasn't so bad. Family, not measuring success by material wealth, intimacy. These things speak to all of us. Martha's resulting behaviour isn't so radical; we're manipulated into sympathising with her reasons.

The film vacillates between the present and the past, which blur together. Explanations are not always neatly wrapped, there are some jumps in reasoning from some scenes while others are utterly ambiguous as to time and place. Nobody knows what happened to her, least of all her self.

Maybe Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) wants to go back? I kept expecting her to disappear off screen, to run back to the tranquillity provided by Patrick (John Hawkes), the cult leader. His vision and demeanour were so soothing, he could anaesthetise his surroundings.

Instead, Martha brings us along for the ride.

Don't miss it.

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