"A film that struggles to grab the viewer, or even tempt anyone to invest in the story being told."
After watching Harry Michell’s marvellous debut feature Chubby Funny, I expected to be in for a right little treat for his next outing. But while I did enjoy some elements of ‘Say Your Prayers’, I don’t think it balanced out too well. Never really even understanding which genre it was desperately trying to be, struggling to feel a connection to any of the characters and not particularly enjoying any of the humour.
I do enjoy seeing films set in England, as we do have some beautiful atmospheric locations. So basing this film in West Yorkshire was a nice choice, as it is an absolutely beautiful setting. We follow brothers Tim (Harry Melling), a socially awkward individual and Vic (Tom Brooke), who has some serious anger issues. From its opening scenes we are introduced to their predicament. They have murdered the wrong man and need to await further instructions as to what to do next. All accompanied by some great shots, awkward chit chat and an intriguing mystery of who is giving them their instructions.
"While tackling themes of awkward comedy, drama and religious righteousness, the film doesn’t seem to understand what it is."
After the opening setup is where I start to struggle. While tackling themes of awkward comedy, drama and religious righteousness, the film doesn’t seem to understand what it is. The more characters we are introduced to, the more I started to drift off, not caring about any of them. Particularly DCI Brough (Anna Maxwell Martin), whose “humour” just didn’t work, not suiting the tone at all and feeling a little like she was trying too hard to be funny. I did have the smallest of stakes in Harry Melling’s character Tim. But unfortunately, that is about it.
I did smile occasionally though, with scenes that involved the appearance of a choir. Interjecting themselves into scenes of heightened emotion, almost breaking the 4th wall and creating quite a clever spin on a score. But ultimately it still makes for a film that struggles to grab the viewer, or even tempt anyone to invest in the story being told.
Say Your Prayers will be released on demand 28th September!
iTunes pre-order link: https://apple.co/3lKDYR3