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The Offering Film Review

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Directed by: #VenturaDurall

 

“Jan (Alex Brendemühl,) a mysterious character haunted by a deep feeling of guilt, tries to get Violeta (Anna Alarcón) back, a youth love he lost 20 years ago, with a sickening plan.”


The Offering Movie Poster
The Offering Movie Poster

The Offering – what is it actually about? The short synopsis I have added presents an intriguing insight into a thriller but, unfortunately, the film itself feels quite lost and carries a sense of disarray from the beginning. It is evident that the cast have a lot of talent to offer the story, however this story doesn’t have much to offer them to let their talents fully shine.

I don’t want to sound overly harsh, it’s just difficult to find an appropriate equilibrium when you’re reviewing a film that you had to watch three times in an attempt to grasp its concept and good qualities. When it comes to the technical side of The Offering, these elements are frankly boring – there isn’t any exploration in aspects such as editing or cinematography. As a viewer, you are stuck with the same techniques being used for nearly two hours… it does become tedious. With a weak script, I was hoping that the visual elements of the film would bring some redemption and help hold my attention instead. To my disappointment, the only thing that was holding my attention was the lack of variety I just watched unfold.

To expand my briefly touched upon thoughts regarding the script and storyline, I have absolutely no idea what the point of the plot is meant to be. Even after more than one watch I still can’t wrap my head around what the purpose of the story is or how it evolves. Dialogue is rather sparse for a story that truly needs as much information as possible through character chemistry and conversation to allow viewers to become completely immersed. This also damages how the cast appear on screen; the relationships are rather awkward because they aren’t given enough meaningful context or time to properly flourish. The main relationship in The Offering is supposed to hold a certain level of passionate, a connection that has stretched over a number of years, but sadly it feels void of any true bond no matter the context of the situation.

There are moments where voiceovers are included in the film, almost acting as a break in the forth wall. These lines attempt to give the film a sense of poetic value, adding a character’s perspective on… whatever the purpose of the story is. Forgiveness? Obsession? Simply making amends? I don’t know. Anyway, not so surprisingly these sections don’t justify anyone’s actions or any of the events that occur, as well as not giving any much needed extra context and ultimately not benefitting the film in the long run.


My biggest issue with The Offering is how uncomfortable it is to sit through, especially when you feel that there just isn’t any purpose or meaning to the film. The subtle romanticisation of suicide would be enough to confuse audiences and possibly turn some stomachs if you’re that way inclined, but the over-sexualisation of the female body is painful. Unnecessary nudity that has nothing to do with the plot is shown countless times and the moments where it is an important section of the film the content is lacking any sensation of natural sensitivity. There’s a way of presenting bodies in film through nudity, it can be done in a beautifully balanced way, but having women being so much more physically open compared to men and having them be overpowered by the male gaze (which can be somewhat aggressive depending on what male character you focus on in the moment) is definitely not the path to take here.

Ending on a lighter note, Verónica Echegui’s performance as Rita is by far the most compelling aspect of this film. She brings a spectacular range of emotion and exists as a breath of fresh air when she appears on screen – the first thought I had when the credits started rolling was that I needed to check out more of her work as soon as possible.


Despite everything I’ve said on The Offering, don’t simply take my word for it. Maybe it just wasn’t my type of film, maybe I wasn’t attentive enough to fully grasp the fever of the story. If anything, I’d encourage you to watch it for Verónica Echegui; that’s how good her performance is.


The Offering is released on 30th July, in cinema and on virtual cinemas and VOD.

 

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