The Exit Room
Imprisoned journalist Joseph Michaels faces a government execution during a future American Revolution.Imprisoned journalist Joseph Michaels faces a government execution during a future American Revolution.Imprisoned journalist Joseph Michaels faces a government execution during a future American Revolution.
Although the credits inform me this is based on a famous short story, I confess to have never heard of it. The plot here is really done and dusted in the first few minutes as we see through videos on social media that citizens are rising up. Once this is established we move to the prison and from there it is a rather brutal experience with stress position torture followed by the callous execution (cattle style) of journalists. From this point forward it is very much about the depiction of this situation and the man's frantic attempts to escape and return to his wife and baby. The strength of the film is how engaging and brutal the film is when it comes to the scenes in the prison. The lead actor Abbott sells his terror and desperation and it is this that really convinces because he takes the viewer with him.
The construction of the film adds to this, with good pace and edited. The downside is that because there is limited narrative here, we perhaps aren't totally bought into the individual's goal and the desire to get home. The ending of the film loses this emotional hook as a result, but it is cleverly done because it yet again makes it about the brutality and cruelty of the scenario (the "pull out" of the camera achieves this) and thus the viewer is returned to what made the film strong in the first place. The weaknesses are there for sure but generally the film seems to know them and instead play to its strengths to the overall benefit of the piece. I liked it for what it did, even though I would have liked more of a story to be told to draw in the heart.
- bob the moo
- Apr 16, 2014