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The Vessel (2016)

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10/10: Every detail counts
Sunday, September 18, 2016

This film was full of surprises, all the way to the ending (no spoilers here). The storytelling is masterful, making events unfold organically; no visual detail is wasted; the loose ends tie up in unexpected ways. The four main characters are all well acted and a pleasure to watch. Martin Sheen's nuanced portrayal of the village priest makes the character feel complex and believably human, a flawed good man. I think two of the things I liked best about this film were the setting and the ensemble cast. Both the setting (a seaside village in Puerto Rico), and the ensemble's role as the entire small population of the village -- both function critically as "main characters" influencing the story. For a setting-as-character analogy, think how "Niagara"'s setting figures into its plot. The villagers as a group function almost with a "hive mind" spreading gossip instantaneously and acting as a kind of emotionally synchronized swarm. See this...

8/10: losing faith
Friday, September 16, 2016

I was strangely moved by this test of faith tale for a small community of people coping with the death of 46 school children as a result of a tsunami. they are looking to the local priest (martin sheen) for guidance and hope, but he doesn't have the answers for them. all he has is his faith. leo (lucas Quintana), who lost his brother, is coping with his mother who lives in her own world. leo drowns in an accident, and comes back to life. I hate to so say he rises from the dead, but there is a lot of symbolism going on here. for whatever reason, leo builds a house, or is it an ark. the town's people see leo as a sign form God, a miracle and as a result begin to regain their faith. i'm not Spanish, but I am catholic, and being catholic is a universal thing, believe me. martin sheen is...

8/10: Courage in the face of Hope
Thursday, April 30, 2020

This is film is about the role of the artist in a community during a period of collective trauma, and the artist's relationship to religion and a basic level of politics. It doesn't go into great detail about anything, it just states positions. This is what the film does best. There are films that take the stated positions and go a lot further, but it isn't possible to squash everything into one short film.I have not seen anyone attempt this task quite so openly before. Usually when people try this they get into adversarial and absolute conflicts. It's good this film avoided that.Visually and conceptually there is everything to recommend The Vessel. I watched the English version, and immediately wished I was listening to Spanish. English just doesn't quite work for the style of communication, so if you have the option, use Spanish

9/10: Art house film that raises serious religious questions
Friday, September 30, 2016

Full disclosure ... This is my first IMDb review. I'm just trying to do my part to help promote this little known film. I attend the same church as the parents of the director, but I do not know them.If you like all the recent superhero flicks, or you like Michael Bay films, then this movie is not for you. This movie causes you to feel sadness in a way that is painful, yet worthwhile. There are many moments of silence, broken only by the sounds of the sea. The key religious question is: Why do bad things happen to good people? This movie explores that question, yet does not beat you over the head with any answers. If this seems appealing to you, then please see this film, and send your friends to see it too

8/10: Small budget, big film
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The small budget would have made this film proper for TV only, but the acting, the setting, the story and the effects were all there to make this lift off. The story is very contrary to expected. We'd think some magic would happen with some special power but the magic is only in what people believes, which could be dark, even black, or could be light and hopeful. That the film got itself so good while being so ordinary is as if it had a bit of god in it. Yes, it's believable. Kudos to all for making this

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