Directed by: Gareth Bryn
Cast: Dyfan Dwyfor, Annes Elwy, Mark Lewis Jones
The older I get, the more I enjoy intricate, and intelligently ambiguous films. There’s just something special about watching a film and realizing you’re studying it as meticulously as you can, whether you can figure it all out or not. Nowadays there are a lot of filmmakers who understand that complexity isn’t necessarily going to be lost on the audience. Filmmakers, and a few select studios are showing moviegoers the respect they deserve by delivering sharp films that command complete attention. Kudos for those with the cojones to give us these rare gifts.
And so begins me offering of respect to filmmaker Gareth Bryn and writer Ed Talfan, who show no fear of losing the viewer. They’ve assembled a visually stunning production that explores life and death in in depth fashion. They’ve taken three lives and turned them into a puzzling spectacle that grows in intensity with each moment that passes, and their forward thinking in regard to emotional response is a thing to behold. The film truly does travel a gamut – inserting hope in characters before yanking the rug of growing comfort from beneath their feet – their natural reactions ranging from deep sorrow to red rage.
The story can’t be explored too thoroughly without spoiling a finale that leaves the viewer in a position to formulate their own conclusions, though most, I believe, will see the same page upon final turning. But the narrative does involve a reclusive man, a pair of youngsters who’ve been in a crash on the fringes of the man’s property, and the relationship that begins to develop between this trio. I know that’s vague, but that’s where the line must be drawn.
You’re safe to anticipate refinement from the complete crew. Aesthetically speaking the pic is superb, loaded with beautiful landscape shots, sprawling scenic views and eerie lighting. The performances are passionate and effective. The editing is crisp and clean. If there’s a single area to critique it may be the pacing of the film; it’s a tad slow and that might not work for those with a near-non-existent attention span. I didn’t see much problem in it, to be honest.
If you’re a fan of films that take their time to tell a story, nurture characters and utilize patience while developing the conflict, The Passing will likely rank among your top picks for 2017. It’s certainly an immediate factor to really contemplate in my mind, and a picture I’d recommend to just about anyone.