Written & Directed by: #ArunKonda
Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
Three years after his daughter Grace’s (Hayes) kidnapping, ex-cop Jordan (Logan) still hasn’t given up on finding out what happened to her, nor has he wavered in his belief that she is still alive. With his former colleagues in the police unable, or unwilling, to help, Jordan has little to go on until he encounters a homeless man Michael (Gorlow) in possession of one of his daughter's belongings who it transpires is mute, meaning Jordan must enlist the help of sign language teacher Madison (Anttila) to try and get through to Michael to find out what he remembers, leading all three of them down a rather deep rabbit hole of revelations.
Captivating, tense, tender, even surprising. Writer/director Arun Konda’s film Loss of Grace is definitely all these things and more. But before we address the plethora of commendable adjectives that make this film an overall success, one word that also might accurately describe it is frustrating.
Frustrating in that there are some impossible to ignore and consistently present missteps that prevent Loss of Grace from really achieving its true potential, most notably the films poor sound editing, which frankly plagues the film way too often. And not always in the same way either. Sometimes it’s dialogue being drowned out by an overpowering score or background noise, other times our speaking characters sound like they are underwater or trapped behind glass and on one or two occasions, there is the presence of some glaringly bad ADR, bad enough to make you cringe.
However, that aside, thankfully the greater majority of Loss of Grace is really quite enjoyable, and there are even times where the film positively sings. It's a decently written script from Konda, finely balanced with equal parts drama, emotion, action and tension that means the film never feels stagnant, never feels boring and you find yourself genuinely invested from beginning to end. Also, despite its occasional shortcomings in terms of audio, visually there is hardly a foot put wrong here, maybe there are a couple of noticeable jumps and slices in the edit but overall, the film looks and feels as good as one would hope.
But it's the performances that really drive this film forward. Much like the sound, they don’t always hit the mark, some of the character interactions seem a bit bland and forced, at times due to uninspired dialogue, other times its due to uninspired delivery. But that’s mainly reserved for the supporting cast, whereas the leading trio of Logan, Gorlow and Anttila manage to give Konda’s story the grace (sorry) and gravitas it deserves especially in the films second act, with rather endearing performances that mean we can’t help but root for them.
Yes, certain aspects of the film do fluctuate somewhat in terms of quality from time to time, but it’s clear to see that Loss of Grace is an absolute labour of love where every individual involved is giving it everything they’ve got, ultimately delivering a rather entertaining ninety-plus minutes full of tension, drama, action and heart.
Watch the trailer here: