Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Mourning Has Broken " Review - Written by Jim Herling

Sometimes no matter how much you try to sugarcoat it and shine it up, a movie is just plain awful, there's no way around it. Unfortunately, Mourning Has Broken (Brett M. Butler and Jason G. Butler share the writing and directing credits and, thus, the blame for this one) is one of those irredeemable lemons. None of the movie's characters have names, which is theoretically fine; it worked for the lately anonymous cast of Once. Here it falls flat though, as the movie is about a husband (the eponymous Husband, played by Robert Nolan) who wakes up one morning to find his wife has passed away in her sleep in their bed. The lack of a name for either of them, but specifically the husband, fails to humanize the characters. I realize this could have been intentional, a way to give him an everyman sort of aspect, but it just didn't work for me.

The movie's other major flaw is its structure. It's basically a one-man show about the husband who interacts with other people in brief, angry vignettes. His method of grieving is to spend the day finishing the last to-do list his wife ever gave him. Of course, since she didn't realize she was going to die, "call the property authorities" isn't number one on the list so he sets off with her corpse still laying in bed. That aside, Nolan is just a horrible actor who plays all these scenes of anger so over the top it's laughable how bad it is. And his inner monologist as he glares furiously into the camera set up in his car while driving is even worse. The entirety of the cast is awful, but Nolan makes them look like potential Oscar nominees. There is one exception; the scene in which he finds out his wife has passed. The way grief slowly, realistically crept over him was believable and wonderful, and have me how for the movie. Which is why it's so disappointing that the cat he shares a previous scene with is a better actor than he is. Which isn't to say I usually think cats are bad actors.

It's a shame. I was intrigued by the movie's concept but unfortunately where they went with it and how they got there was just so disappointing to me. I'm giving Mourning Has Broken 0 stars out of 5.

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