There aren’t many films that equally shock and confuse in equal doses. However, Andrew Semans’ psychological thrillerResurrection pushes all the buttons and leaves more questions about the effects of trauma than answers by the time the credits roll.
What’s Resurrection about?
Maggie (Rebecca Hall) is successful in her career but doesn’t have much of a social life, as she constantly frets over her teenage daughter, Abbie (Grace Kaufman). Out of the blue, David (Tim Roth), Maggie’s boyfriend from decades past, resurfaces and reopens old wounds. The scars, though, might be deeper than anyone could ever imagine.
What Resurrection does well
The above synopsis gives nothing away, because Resurrection takes the viewer on an unexpected and harrowing journey. This isn’t a typical ex-boyfriend trying to stalk and terrorise someone; this film is much deeper and bursting with metaphors in every scene. As a result, it’s difficult to identify what is real and what isn’t here. There are twists and turns that could easily have been pulled from a Lars von Trier film and will leave jaws on the floor by the final act.
Hall and Roth give nothing away in Resurrection. Even if it’s difficult to decipher who is telling the truth in the story, the leads expertly toy with our emotions and keep us seesawing between belief and denial. There are scenes here that deserve multiple revisits, even if it’s to reanalyse and evaluate the events.
Is Resurrection for everyone?
Due to its metaphors and smoke and mirrors approach, Resurrection will not appeal to the general public. It’s a film that will have many people scratching their heads and wondering WTF did they see, since it isn’t conclusive by any means. The narrative is intentionally muddied and left open to interpretation, as Semans refuses to spoon feed the purpose of the film.
For those who crave an arthouse experience and are willing to feel uncomfortable throughout its running time, though, this film poses many questions and asks the viewer to decide the answers and take what they must from it.
Resurrection isn’t the sort of film that people will want to watch over and over again. It disturbs and lingers for a long time after it’s over. That said, it’s a remarkable piece of art, as it unpacks the process of trauma and how it can have lasting and detrimental effects on everyone.