The Forgiven – Blu-ray Edition

It starts off intriguing, reels you in and then you feel like swimming in the other direction as you discover that there is no worm on the hook. John Michael McDonagh’s (The Guard) film will not be forgiven by many…see what I did there?…nevermind. I am awkwardly trying to say/write that there is a lot of window dressing along with expectations but very little bang for your time.

First off, there is a great cast here. Oscar winner Jessica Chastain, multiple Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner Ralph Fiennes and Emmy nominee Matt Smith. Then there is also Christopher Abbott, Marie-Josée Croze and Caleb Landry Jones. Loads of talent but it is not enough. All their best efforts are not enough to make you care enough to look beyond all the pomposity and unrelatable and unlikable characters.

A wealthy British couple, David (Ralph Fiennes – The Constant Gardener, The English Patient) and Jo Henninger (Jessica Chastain – The Help, Zero Dark Thirty, have been invited by a friend (Matt Smith – from television’s The Crown) to a party weekend in the Moroccan desert. On their drive there they get into an accident. It is a tragic one as they hit and kill a young boy. Things go from bad to dangerous when they find out that he is the son of the leader of a Muslim village. The grieving father demands that David come to meet him and pay his respects. He is looking for some sort of justice. While he is off, Jo does not behave in the way you would expect a worried wife should.

Based on the novel by Lawrence Osborne, this Morocco-set film starts off with a bang and then peters out into a sarcastic occasional fizz. Though this is obviously not an action film, you would still expect some kind of “action” here. Something happening other than people being obnoxious, odd and without any morals. Moves as slow as a camel in the desert and never goes anywhere. There is no payoff. At all. You keep watching thinking there is going to be something. Something like a twist. But nada.

It is only due to the talent level of the cast that you tough it out to try and get to the message about clashing cultures. How we usually disrespect people who are not of the same culture as ourselves. Even that comes off as white wokeness the way it is presented here.

The only real plus here is the setting. The villa and the desert provide quite a backdrop. Stunning!

Special Features:


-Cast Interviews