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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since I am a fan of off-the-cuff, non-mainstream movies, I decided to
give this one a try. I wasn't disappointed. It was a great film on many
levels. The entire cast worked together to paint a picture of pain and
discomfort, and shinned a light on taboo subjects with beauty.
Directed by Ron Brown, Consent tells the tragic tale of a wealthy Manhattan family wading through the emotional wreckage of a recent death. By failing to face their heartache as a united front, each family member is sent down an individual path of self-destruction.
The teen siblings attempt to conquer their grief by confiding in drugs, alcohol and sexual taboos. Their parents also go about relieving their grief in all the wrong ways. Mostly by disconnecting from their own feelings, and ultimately, their own children. The parents are cold to each other and wrapped up in their own pain. They blame themselves by knowing their inattentiveness partly caused their oldest child's death.
Between her junior and senior years of college, before anyone knew her as one of the Pretty Little Liars, Troian Bellisario spent a summer in New York City, filming this intense indie drama.
Trojan plays the damaged, desperate and unformed character of high school junior Amanda. This is definitely a dark role for her, but she portrays it incredible well.
Amanda is spiraling down a dangerous path with an abusive boyfriend. She looks for love in all the wrong places. Her emotional handicap creates a particularly awkward situation for her older brother Josh, who is played with brilliant vulnerability by Peter Vack. Josh is the one constant in Amanda's life that she can always turn to and he finds himself on the receiving end of his sister's misguided search for love.
This is what the tragedy has done to them, but they have to go through these obstacles in order to discover themselves and heal.
Josh deals with the loss of his oldest sister Samantha by visualizing she is still with him. Josh sees her everywhere, and his grief is palpable in the fact that he can't let her go. He starts hallucinating and having conversations with her like she is really there.
"I hope that my fans support me in all of my work," Troian said in an interview with Hollywood Life. "While a lot of people may not be dealing with matters of incest, they are perhaps dealing with loss or sadness or simply trying to find themselves in high school, where everything is so grey. I hope my fans like the movie, and I think a lot of people will." "They have nobody else to turn to; they need each other," Troian says of Amanda and Josh's relationship. "And through them, you see how Amanda's version of love is so skewed. Some people might call it perverted, but it's really not her need for love that's perverted. It's just the way she seeks it." "None of these people are more equipped to help their own family than each other," Troian explains. "What's so tragic is that if they would simply speak about it the loss, the grief, the heartache so much of this would be avoided." The title of the movie is about the "consent" the parents have given themselves to ignore their children and wrap themselves up in a tragedy that's taken over their entire lives.
"It isn't necessarily about Josh giving consent to Amanda, but it's really abut the parents giving consent to their children to behave in these ways," Troian explains. "Without parental guidance, what are you saying is OK for your children to do in the world? What's most interesting about Amanda's character is seeing how far she'll go, and what toll it will take on her emotionally and mentally." The way the film is shot, and because the cast threw themselves into their parts, the film feels very real and documentary like. You feel like a voyeur where you sit and watch a family fall apart and ultimately hope that they come out of the darkness.
Consent is an important film because it speaks volumes of what could happen in any family if you live with your eyes closed and have no communication. If you have dealt with a close death or gone through dark times yourself, you will appreciate this underrated film.
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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is so amazing; the acting is phenomenal. Troian Bellisario and Peter Vack, as well as the other actors, are great. It is very dramatic and intense, but so interesting. Like the title for this review, it is hauntingly beautiful. The story is so intense, haunting, and sad, but it is beautiful at the same time. The movie is mostly about the relationship between the two siblings and how their sister's suicide affected them. The younger sister turned to sex and drugs for comfort, while the brother turned to drugs and drinking. They also turned to each other for comfort. Just a great movie overall, but definitely not for everyone. Some people won't understand it or find the greatness in it. Truly underrated film.
peter, I couldn't wait to watch this movie, I love everything you do in film. I must be a pretty large fan. please keep it up. don't give up. keep making films for us who really dig you, and your performances. Stay with it and I think you will really be more famous someday soon. The more people who watch your acting the bigger fan base you will have I promise you. You ARE really cool. I first saw you on MTV I just want my pants back. since then I have been trying to follow your career. I have never done this before, but seriously you remind me of a friend I have, at first it was kind of unnerving but the more I watch your acting the more I really believe in you and I see a lot of potential. The different people you portray is so diverse, and everyone of them seems so real, it is so easy to get into the performance.
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