Going into a film not knowing much about it usually makes things more exciting. Not knowing exactly where the film is heading makes things more unpredictable; and we all know trailers spoil too much nowadays so I avoided the trailer for this movie. I soon realized that not knowing anything going into this film may have tainted my experience because the whole time I couldn’t help but wonder, do I care where this is going or is this even going anywhere for that matter?
For Dean Kapsalis’ feature directorial debut, we have The Swerve. The film follows Holly, a mother to two spoiled brats who are unbearable to watch, a wife to a man who doesn’t give her the appreciation she deserves and a sister/daughter to a flawed and troubled family. With all of that said, she holds herself together very well but this film is all about her unraveling because of all that’s stacked against her.
We’ve seen this done before but this time we get to witness everything and dig deeper into the mind and feelings of this woman instead of just witnessing unfortunate events that lead to a downfall. This mostly works due to the performance of Azura Skye (One Missed Call), she steals every scene and the way she portrays this character is why you want to see her come out of this spiral alive and well. As the center of the film this is obviously what we expect from the lead actress but there weren’t as many emotional layers to her character as there should have been meaning she had to pick it up. Nonetheless, it’s a performance worth praising.
As a fan of slow burn films, especially psychological dramas, I was skeptical throughout because I couldn’t see this really going anywhere interesting. I was wrong. The last fifteen minutes saved my overall experience here and I was genuinely shocked by how it played out. At first I thought this film was sort of over dramatic and the events that occurred shouldn’t have necessarily led to a complete demise, but that’s another good thing about it. We’re thrust into a story with pre-existing drama and it never quite airs it all out on screen but it’s clear towards the end that these fractions within the family were already so broken and all that was left was Holly holding them together. So it’s shocking ending makes sense after some reflection of everything you just took in.
To be completely honest, this won’t be the first slow burn drama I recommend to people. It was nowhere near a bad movie and I loved the ending but I found it tough to make it there after a while. Even with that said the score is fantastic, the acting is great and I enjoyed the direction of the film and could see what they were going for. It’s just been done better. It won’t be for everyone but if you enjoy watching characters unravel while at rock bottom, this is a twisted one for you.