Resurrection review — a thought-provoking father figure piece

July 30, 2022 (Last updated: 3 weeks ago)
M.N. Miller 0
Film, Film Reviews


Resurrection‘s wicked, twisted, and dark tumbles are as thought-provoking as they are enigmatic. Yet, perhaps perversely, Andrew Semans’ cerebral film is about empathy and forgiveness.

Resurrection is one of those movies with an ending so bonkers that you will forgive anything that happened prior. Andrew Semans’ script delivers that “Oh f**k” moment that drops your jaw to the floor and will have you talking with your coworkers over the watercooler debating its meaning. Does the plot point to a metaphor for changing gender norms? A turning point in male toxicity? A story about the changing fertility rates that are not just national but global? Or hell, I thought it may be a horror movie inspired by today’s infatuation and attraction to the “dad-bod” that has taken the country by storm. Well, at least I am drinking that Kool-Aid.

The wonderful Rebecca Hall leads the film here. She plays Margaret, a single parent with a daughter who is ready to turn 18 in a couple of weeks. Her name is Abbie (The Sky is Everywhere’s Grace Kaufman), a young woman who feels suffocated by her mother. Rebecca is a hard worker and does not have time for a relationship. She is seeing someone, but it is hardly a romance. You would qualify this as a steady hook-up with her coworker, Peter (Michael Esper), that will eventually run its course. As the story progresses, it makes sense why she picks him. He is non-threatening and is easy to keep at arm’s length. That is because Roth’s ex-boyfriend, David (Luce’s Tim Roth), carries a horrifying secret from Margaret’s past. Roth’s David, forgive the pun, is a father figure you’ve never seen before.

Writer/director Andrew Semans’ (Nancy, Please) film has an uncommon power derived from Rebecca Hall’s magnificent turn. It is perhaps set to a blaze by one of the creepiest Tim Roth characters you will ever see. Watching Roth gently rubbing his belly like a prized tender possession made me think this was the role he was born to play. As Roth’s David slowly becomes more prevalent in the story, Hall’s portrayal gets darker and more complex. It is one of her finest performances.

I will not approach Semans’ script’s wicked, twisted, and dark tumbles to avoid spoilers, but this film is as thought-provoking as it is maddening. I will say that Resurrection is about empathy, even forgiveness, in its own perverse way. Take Roth’s character, who holds Margaret with such disdain at first, but he attempts to reach out by understanding her reservations. He wants her and their past to become whole again. David’s capricious nature becomes tender, echoing her concerns.

As enigmatic as Resurrection’s ending can be, Greek literature has a history where philosophers used what is happening in a central plot point to solve intellectual problems. For instance, the myth of how Zeus resurrected Dionysus. What problems of Hall’s Margaret is Semans trying to resolve? That is what is up for debate and intellectually makes his film so exciting.

So, Plato may have been right about the highest form of knowledge after all.

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