Feature Name: Retaliation
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Janet Montgomery, Charlie Creed-Miles, Anne Reid, Alex Ferns, Josh Myers
Directed By: Ludwig Shammasian and Paul Shammasian
Retaliation is about a sexual-abuse survivor who has written courageously about his own experience.
Bloom is Malcolm, known to everyone as Malky, a nickname that doesn’t remotely suit him. He swaggers about full of rage, flying into a temper if anyone so much as looks at him funny.
Malcolm works in the macho world of demolition, stripping old churches of fixtures and fittings before the bulldozers move in. Just in case you miss the point, his mum says over tea,
“There’s a lot of churches. You won’t be able to knock them all down.” There’s a good deal of this sort of heavy symbolism. It is giving the whole thing an overcooked, oppressive feel.
Malcolm’s shame and fear of intimacy emerge in some unflinchingly grim scenes.
Sex with his on-off barmaid girlfriend (Janet Montgomery) is cold and horrible. At home, in secret, Malcolm abuses himself, staring into the mirror while he rapes himself with a wooden truncheon. It’s a shocking moment, and it will be too much for some.
One day, having a pint in his local, Malcolm spots the paedophile priest (James Smillie) who raped him – he’s been moved back to the parish.
The confrontation and narrative resolution that follow feel a bit hastily sketched-out. But there are lines here that land like a punch, “I was 12. When I woke up the next day I was 100.”
Retailation’s cinematography is the shining aspect of the film. It helps with the subtle symbolisms that the director is trying to convey while not being in abundance or too obvious.
The shots of Malky destroying the Church or carrying the cross are very powerful to look. In a way they even represent as to where his mental state is in the movie.
Talking about the perfomance, Orlando Bloom plays his role so effortlessly. Never do you feel like it’s an actor playing a role. But rather someone who has actually gone through these hardships in their life.
It’s very honest, raw, gritty and just soulful in a way that shows how Bloom has shaped himself up as an actor.
The damage he inflicts upon himself and others just makes you feel for him, and while it invokes the anger inside you, you kind of sympathise with him. Katy Perry Uncomfortable Knowing About Orlando Bloom’s Parenting With Ex-Wife Miranda Kerr.
The supporting characters are good too, they showcase how their relationship with him is straining, and how his trauma is affecting them.
But the one problem with these characters is that Malky very rarely interacts with them in the movie. So them getting hurt doesn’t really hit as hard. They merely serve as just punching bags for Malky to hurt.
Retaliation shows its protagonist battling bravely but futilely with his inner demons. His relationship with his girlfriend and mother, played by Janet Montgomery and Anne Reid , both wonderfully comforting in their spaces vis-a-vis the tormented hero. He is so complicated that the co-directors do not intervene . The ugliness is allowed to chase its own shadows.
But aside from all this, Retaliation still manages by pulling off an emotional third act which is very effective and powerful in my opinion. The bleak nature of it and the setup I feel ultimately pays off and acts. As the saving grace of this film along with Bloom’s acting.
Retaliation is currently streaming on ZeePlex. We with all our heart give the film 3 stars. For more updates from the world of cinema stay tuned to UrbanAsian.