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Friday, October 8, 2021

Mass - Movie Review


The Movie: Mass

The Director: Fran Kranz

The Cast: Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Breeda Wool, Michelle N. Carter

The Story: Aftermath of a violent tragedy that affects the lives of two couples in different ways.


The Review:
This movie is essentially four people in a room having a conversation which to me is a bold way for a filmmaker to make their directorial debut. Fran Kranz, who has been in TV and film since 1998 and who I will always recognize as Marty from The Cabin in the Woods, has done just that and I was very impressed with the results of this movie that he directed, wrote, and produced. The number one thing you have to get right in a film like this is the cast because they have to keep the audience engaged with just watching them speak to each other for a good length of time and Kranz definitely chose wisely in this regard.

Starting off with Jason Isaacs in any movie is always going to be the right decision and then adding Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney, and Ann Dowd also worked very well for this film. Isaacs and Plimpton play a husband and wife who have requested a conversation with the couple played by Birney and Dowd regarding a traumatic event that has had a lasting impact on all of them. Not going to tell you what that is as there are several reveals that are integral to the story working as well as it does. The four people go down a rabbit hole of revelations which unpacks a world of emotions and the dialog becomes just as much of a therapy session for the audience as it does for the characters.

The way Kranz weaves the story through this litany of emotions is very impressive as each actor gets ample opportunity to flesh out their characters and each of them comes away affected in profound and important ways. I also feel like the movie holds to an authentically emotional narrative and never feels like it's doing too much, getting too preachy, or taking any of the conversation too far. Kranz covers some pretty heavy ground regarding societal and political topics that are very relevant right now and in a way that makes you think about them in a different light while also humanizing everyone involved.


The Verdict:
Mass is a movie that speaks volumes in the simplest way possible. By having four people sit at a table and talk. And it works. What an impressive debut feature film by Fran Kranz, I have to say that this is one of the most finely crafted films I have watched this year.


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