By Betsy Sherman
What raises Resurrection above the standard victim-turning-vengeful routine sits an absurd claim — in a wonderfully sick way — that gives the film a welcome dash of giallo unpredictability.
Resurrection, directed by Andrew Semans. Screening April 29 at 9:30 p.m. at the Brattle Theater as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston.
Rebecca Hall is the fascinating central figure of Resurrection. She plays Margaret, an upstate New York biotech executive who seems to value tenacity above all else; it’s a value she tries to instill in her young intern, as she did in her 17-year-old daughter whom she raised alone. Margaret has an athletic body, a stylish wardrobe, and a compartmentalized life that includes casual sex with a married colleague. While listening to a presentation at a conference, his eyes wander among the men present in the room. When they spot a middle-aged man, in a split second, the distance between her and a trauma from her youth collapses. She runs out of the room. Tim Roth stars as David, the man she once loved but who inflicted both physical and psychological scars on her. Margaret fears that he will attack her daughter.
Director-screenwriter Andrew Semans effectively builds tension, but what uplifts Resurrection above the standard routine of victim becoming avenger is an absurd – in a wonderfully sick way – claim made by David, through which he can control Margaret. I wouldn’t dream of revealing what it is, but it does give the film a welcome touch of giallo unpredictability. Is this supposed to be real or a hallucination? Hall and Roth’s scenes crackle together, and it’s nice that they can both speak in their British voices; he separates them into a small psychodramatic bubble within the American setting.
Betsy Sherman wrote about movies, old and new, for the boston globe, boston phoenixand unfit bostonian, among others. She holds a degree in Archives Management from the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. When she grows up, she wants to be Barbara Stanwyck.