Mass New Movie Review, 2022 New Movie

Mass Movie Review 

A movie that revolves around four people meeting in a church room may not pique your interest. However, despite the low-key structure and conversational nature of Fran Kranz's directorial debut, the film is surprisingly dynamic. Sure, there are no action sequences, but on an emotional level, it's a real gut punch of a production.

  It comes years after a high school shooting that claimed the lives of several children. The exact nature of the tragic incident was not immediately disclosed. Instead, we're introduced to two sets of parents—Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, along with Reed Birney and Ann Dowd—who come together for a sit-in at an Episcopal church. They are polite to each other at first, but when they sit down to talk, we learn why they came to share a room with each other. 

 As the conversations progress, we learn that they are all grieving for their children. However, two people are being blamed for what happened on the fateful school day when the atrocity took place. Later it turns out that one of their children is the perpetrator of the murder.

  Going into the movie, it's important to prepare yourself for the difficult journey these characters go through over the course of a few hours. Everyone is looking for answers, but they are not easy to find. No one is to blame for what happened except the perpetrator, and he is dead. Why did he do what he did? He cannot answer for himself, so his parents are responsible for his actions.

  In reality, America's gun problems and the failings of the mental health system are much bigger culprits, but it's easier for parents whose son is murdered to focus on their parents. Why didn't they do more to curb his loner behavior? Why didn't they notice his actions in the weeks before the tragedy? Why didn't they seek more help for his problems? These are just a few of the questions asked during the emotional upswing.

  Of course, no one has an answer to what happened. They are all trying to come to terms with what happened and the process has been traumatic for each of them. The loss of a child is something no one should have to go through, even if the child is guilty of terrible behavior.


No Excellent Work

 Apart from the tragic story at the heart of the film, there is also excellent work both in front of and behind the camera. Each of the four actors excels in their roles, with career-best performances showcasing the emotional reactions of their characters. The fact that they had to act over such a long period of time is also quite an achievement, and I can only assume that they must have spent many hours practicing to perfect whatever they were called upon to do. 


Director should also be thanked. Kranz, previously known for his acting work in films like Cabin in the Woods, shows real talent here, capturing the building tensions that take place in the room. The camera is placed on each character at just the right moment, capturing every ounce of emotion each actor displays.

  My only problem with the movie is the resolution of the encounter. The two sets of parents bicker for most of the film, but as emotions settle, the interaction takes a predictable but not entirely earned turn. Of course, I might have to watch the movie again because it might change my mind. But in my first viewing, I wasn't quite sure about a character's feelings changing.


  Still, that shouldn't take away from the film's overall strength. And it is quite significant that this happens in a church where the cross of Christ hangs next to them. It is a symbol of where each character must come from, both internally and externally. Be prepared to have a box of tissues ready, because you'll need them just like the grieving parents meeting in that private church room.

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