Directed by Brett Butler & Jason Butler
Review by Chris Olson
In the same spirit as films like Falling Down (1993), American Beauty (1999) and God Bless America (2011), Mourning Has Broken is the Canadian contribution to a modern nervous breakdown. Our lead character (Robert Nolan) goes on a rampage across the mildly mannered streets of his hometown, after discovering the death of his wife.
It’s never too difficult to find inspiration when writing a film like this - just take an average day and write down what pisses you off and you pretty much have a screenplay. Be it people on iPhones in the cinema or another car being a douche bag in a car park, everything is fair game for the one-man-wrecking-ball movie. The Butler boys manage to create a very worthy addition to the genre (which is already teeming with excellent entries - see aforementioned), with this dark and very funny film.
The whole thing has a slight revenge fantasy to it, lashing out at everyday annoyances, but the lead character’s emotional journey also plays an important part. We see him trying to come to terms with what is actually upsetting him and where his anger is just misplaced heartache, which makes for a far more compelling movie than just a raging against the machine. Nolan’s performance of this broken and fierce man may not be in the same league as Kevin Spacey or Michael Douglas, but it's sure as hell worth watching!
There is a stand-out scene where Nolan is in a record shop listening to a track on headphones which is utterly gripping, revealing the pain he is burdened with.
Funny in places, and moving throughout, Mourning Has Broken offers a glimpse at a fantasy I’m sure many have had. Taking out our rage on the modern world and all its maddening facets. However, the strength of this film comes not from its baseball bat to the lawn-mower, but in its tear-soaked “hero” drowning in his sorrow.