Director: David Beton
Writer: David Beton
Starring: Stephen Moyer, Colm Meaney, Clare-Hope Ashitey, Kris Johnson, Sadie Jean Shirley
Stephen Moyer stars as Victor Strong, who barges into a church and holds Father Peter (Colm Meaney) at gunpoint, telling him to lock the doors. Victor is clearly hurt, and Father Peter wants to care for him and tend to his wounds. Victor is reluctant to talk about what’s happened and why he’s in the church, while Peter is looking for a way to escape.
The film is staged like a play, with most of the action taking place within the church and the characters kept to a minimum. It’s also incredibly dialogue heavy, with most of the story playing out as part of conversations between Victor and Peter. You must make your mind up with what’s the truth. Victor will give detail some events and you feel like you can trust him, but halfway through the film, Willow (Clare-Hope Ashitey) arrives and turns everything upside down. You’re left not knowing which character you can trust. There are very few flashbacks with the character development and the past being explored through dialogue and monologues. It’s an interesting way to do something.
There’s an engaging power dynamic between the two main characters. When Victor first arrives, he’s in control, holding Peter at gunpoint and ordering him around. When it’s clear that Victor is injured, the power starts to shift as he has to rely on Peter to heal his wounds. There’s a mutual respect that grows between them as they learn more about each other. It’s the heart and soul of the film and the best thing about it.
Going back to how Confession feels like a play, it is absolutely something that would fit perfectly on a stage, and you can even imagine how the stage would be laid out while you’re watching it. The way the film is shot also gives the impression that everything is happening in real time, which disguises the incredibly slow-moving pace throughout the film. It’s a really interesting premise, but it doesn’t know what to do with it.
The story gets ridiculous towards the end, as it tries to shoe-horn in a big finale into the church setting. It’s beyond unbelievable what happens, it’s just downright stupid. Everything comes together with a neat little bowed tied on top, and it would only make sense in a comedy. Without spoiling it, the ending is very far-fetched and a little convenient that all the pieces fit together so well.
Confession is a real missed opportunity. It could have been very good with some interesting plot devices and the way that you don’t know what’s the truth, and what’s lies. The characters are interesting and there are some solid performances from the cast. It just could have been so much better.
Signature Entertainment presents Confession on Digital Platforms 31st January
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