‘Mass’ (2022), critic: the best film of the year is about existential emptiness, pain and hope

The other day, a video went viral on Twitter. It was a podcast in which two people talked about how, having special effects, there was no point in making films without them. They commented on it, without any kind of irony ‘Sound of metal’ it would be much better if the protagonist has lost his hearing but has instead learned to flywhy make a movie like ‘TAIL’if it’s – presumably – boring, instead of one played by people shooting lightning from their eyes?

I suppose that “Mass” is not a film for these two people in particular. It’s the exact opposite of what they say they love: an intimate drama in which two couples bare their hearts and deal with their worst traumas. is approx One of the best films of the yearone of these little wonders that will continue with you months later, without you being able to completely forget it.

The meeting

When ‘Messa’ begins, it does so in an affable tone, an artificiality that dresses the pain of four characters looking for some kind of comfort after one of the worst situations that no one can experience. The absurd phrases made to make a good impression when no one is able to take the first step mark the beginning almost two unforgettable hours that we will live almost entirely in a room without artifice of any kind, and in which we will find out what happens when the curtain of friendliness falls entirely.

The most heartbreaking thing about “Mass” is understand all four parts, their sadness, their desolation, their pain. And understand every reproach, every defense, every attempt to justify what happened. There are no good or bad, but everyone needs to find a culprit to feel their guilt vanish. Obviously, that relief never comes by itselfand perhaps they are wrong in their goals: what they are looking for is understanding, forgiveness, trying to turn the page of the heaviest book in the world.

Mass

Some of your interlocutors may be in a hurry, but ‘Mass’ is not. It takes time to get to the heart of the matter, the moment the screams and shouts break outbut he does it in the smartest way possible: first he worries that you can get to know the most sociable and open face of his protagonists, and then he attacks why they are sitting, try to suture open wounds with a scolding blowlet them bleed to the end and finally try to heal the impossible with a hug.

The world cried at ten. We cry at eleven.

It is difficult to talk about ‘Mass’ without making spoilers or delving into the reason that united these two families, but is a film that can be blindly recommended. Yes, there are four people sitting around a table in a small room in the parish church, but Fran Kranz knows how to give each scene an enviable rhythm without the need for large watermarks with the camera. He is a director who does not stand out: Place the camera where it should so you don’t get distracted from what’s important.

Mass

Some say that, seen in this way, it could be a game or a podcastand yes, it could be, but at the same time you can see that it is directly destined for the big screen: the footage gives more than it takes away, accentuating the drama and setting the pace with a couple of small dream moments that accentuate the feelings of their characters.

On purpose, Perhaps Fran Kranz’s name sounds familiar to you: is an actor with twenty years of experience in which we could see ‘The cabin in the woods’ or the recent ‘Giulia’on HBO Max. For his first project as a screenwriter and director, he chose a film that it could have been a disaster in the wrong hands, but it shows that he strongly believes in his project, despite not being unfairly strengthened in the prize race. The Oscar for Best Original Screenplay went to “Mass”. On the contrary, it was an armed robbery.

less is more

The cast of this film is one of the most generous who have recently seen each other at the cinema: everyone has their moment of glory, but they also know how to pull back without too many fuss to give way in the spotlight to someone else. None of the four tries to assert itself more than the text or act in an exaggerated way, pretending to accept the congratulations of the critics.

With exceptional respect for the script, and knowing they are coping one of the roles in his life, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd and Reed Birney exceed all possible expectations, both in the kindest moments and in the most devastating ones. And that’s it ‘Mass’ is a roller coaster of emotions which does not allow you to trust yourself at any time. The climb is slow, but the descent is terrible and will take your breath away.

Mass

In ‘Mass’ there isn’t a big scene, a climax, a clip for the Academy: every minute of the footage is vital, overflowing with truth, heart, anxiety and pain. Each dialogue is carefully crafted so that the motives and broken hearts of these characters can be understood. from the beginning to the final catharsis where it is inevitable to feel compassion, pain and empathy for literally everything shown on the screen.

In short

The “mass” lasts two hours and, of these, at least an hour and a half passes between four characters around the table. And we assure you you won’t be able to look away you won’t be bored for a single minute. Amid the throng of blank previews arriving on the billboard, “Mass” is determined to do feel the devastation, sadness, empathy, resentment and deep love of these people trying to find common ground after the worst situation of their life. It’s still in your favorite cinema – take the opportunity to see it before it’s too late.

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