25 Aug 2021
Laura Bayston, Karl Collins, Kris Hitchen
A downbeat, hard-hitting story filled with hatred, sadness, cruelty and suffering.
Laura (Bayston) is a woman who is devastated by the loss of her six-year-old daughter Lucy, who was brutally murdered by a man named Niall (Hitchen). Niall has now been released from prison and Laura cannot resist the desire to avenge Lucy's death. She seeks comfort in her friend Martin (Collins), a local vicar and they share their thoughts with each other. Martin is facing his own issues, as he is a victim of racism and is targeted by a group of youths who verbally abuse him. Meanwhile. Laura gets more and more closer to snapping and going after Niall.
There is pretty much no joy in this bleak drama that deals with vengeance, racism, loss and grief. The plot focuses on two individuals who are now broken due to awful events they have endured. The sad state that Laura and Martin are in is vividly shown. Laura spends a great deal of time alone in her house struggling with her inner emotions, while Martin appears to be unable to stand up against the racist bullies. The two of them are in pain, however they have developed a strong bond between them and care about what the other is going through.
The protagonists deliver great performances. Bayston is very emotional as a person who is feeling empty, following the loss of her child, has lost her faith and the only thing she seems to want now is for Niall to pay for his despicable deed. Collins is dramatic as a vicar who is gentle, kind and willing to help others and has been through a great deal of bad times. Hitchen is rather menacing in his portrayal of a dangerous, bad-tempered individual who is willing to resort to violence.
The film also explores themes of religion and crosses are often shown. A flashback reveals Lucy's fears of spiders and a closeup of a black spider is seen throughout. The spider seems to represent Laura's nightmares, because her daughter was afraid of them.
James Oldham does an amazing job with the cinematography and the music is tense and dramatic, adjusting very well with the atmosphere. The presence of the cheerful song 'Oh Happy Day' serves as an irony, due to the distressing themes in the film.
The main subject here is one's desire to get even. The film suggests that the idea of revenge will not bring peace, but will instead create more suffering for those who pursue it. This is not a pleasant viewing, but it is a powerful story, with strong emotions and deserves a lot of praise.