Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sundance Review: To Kill a Man - 3 stars

Official synopsis:  When Jorge, a hardworking family man who's barely making ends meet, gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge's son decides to confront the attacker, only to get himself shot.  Even though Jorge's son nearly dies, Kalule's sentence is minimal, heightening the friction.

I moderately enjoyed this dark story of a man pushed to extremes.  The interesting thing is that for most of the movie, Jorge does exactly what he should do:  he goes to the authorities.  The problem is they don't seem too interested in helping him.  When Kalule gets out of jail, he doesn't hide the fact that he's out for revenge.  When Jorge tries to get a restraining order, he is told that there isn't enough evidence, or the prosecutor is too busy and he has to wait until Monday, stuff like that.

The movie was pretty effective at ratcheting up the tension.  I think my biggest problem was the pacing.  Like many movies at Sundance this year, it just takes too long to tell the story.  There were too many scenes that dragged on without furthering the story or developing the characters. 

But there are things in this movie that will stay with me.  There are a couple of brutal incidents that are filmed in one take, which is very effective. Overall I liked this movie.

No comments: