All Mistakes Buried full movie review - Also known as: The Aftermath
This film by writer/director Tim McCann and co-writer Shaun Sanghani, pulls back a dirty curtain to give us a glimpse into the depths of a miserable pit of despair that has suddenly engulfed the life of an imperfect husband.
The relatively simple plot?man pawns wife's necklace, steals back necklace, looses it again and makes desperate attempt to get it back?is merely a means to an end; to experience the decay into delusional depravity and temporary insanity that can result from sudden loss.
This movie is really about a state of mind; the story, merely a canvass, carefully chosen as being sufficiently odious to impart a sense of the depths into which one can find themselves suddenly and swiftly sinking into, in the aftermath of an unexpected tragedy. Tim McCann uses the characters as his paint and the actors as his brushes with which he masterfully imparts to the audience a sense of the confusion, cacophony and reckless self-destruction which is sometimes experienced by those in a fugue state resulting from severe shock. McCann purposefully jumbles up the time-line and rearranges them discordantly, so that each scene has the feel of being a random flashback, familiar but without context.
Exploring the pathos of the pit of despair is ground similar to that focused on in the 2009 classic Antichrist by Lars Von Trier. McCann delivers the same type of audience uneasiness that Trier achieved, but uses polar-opposite technical means of doing so. In Antichrist, tension was built-up to almost sultry levels through the use of single, exceedingly long-duration, continuous art house-type shots which make up each scene, whereas in All Mistakes Buried (Aftermath) each scene is a patchwork of short gritty shots, which are presented without any coherent order at all, achieving a similar level of internal tension being experienced by the audience. This sharing of anxiety and confusion, between viewers and the main character, serves to sub- consciously entice the audience into becoming more deeply invested in the story. The result is that on an almost unconscious level; the sympathy or animosity felt toward the main character at the beginning of the story is subtly transformed into empathy by the time it ends. For anyone interested in the craft of film making, All Mistakes Buried (Aftermath) is a recommended case study.
The key character of the story is Sonny, a forty-something lower middle- class guy in a failing marriage who thought he had left his crack habit far behind, in the years before starting a successful security business. Selflessly portrayed by Sam Trammell (True Blood) whose acting versatility is highlighted by the frequent juxtapositions of scenes depicting the before and after Sonny.
The appearance of Vanessa Ferlito (24, Grind House/Death Proof, Graceland) was a pleasant surprise. She is cast as the head-villain? Frankie; who is both; the sexy, silent new customer who becomes the catalyst in the last fight between Sonny with his wife, and later as the ruthless, and much more vocal, leader of a local pack of thugs n' thieves. Ms. Ferlito convincingly pulls off her portrayal of this callous puppet-master whom we later discover has been tugging at a few of the strings which have been unraveling Sonny's sanity.
The only small minor and insignificant criticism I have with this production has to do with the frequent scenes depicting drug use. The opening scene finds Sonny sitting on a chair, applying the lighter flame to the open end of a glass rod for a few moments before bringing it up to his lips to take a hit. Cut to black, then to Sonny passed-out on a dirty wood floor. Wrong, wrong, wrong! To the best of my knowledge (gained through empirical research and a brief stint as an (anti) drug counselor) there is no street drug, the use or effects of, which fit the depictions in this film. Take the opening scenes, for instance. Sonny is searching his pockets for a substance, which he places into one end of an open tube and immediately subjects it to the open flame of his lighter for a significant period of time before he begins to inhale through the pipe. His actions are consistent with the administration of only one street drug?crack cocaine. However, his subsequent passing out and groggy return to consciousness is the opposite from what you would expect from the use of cocaine; it is a result more closely associated with the use of heroin. However, applying an open flame to heroin would destroy it before it ever had the chance of getting Sonny high. This mismatch of method-to-outcome, with respect to the drug use, persists throughout this story, but it only slightly impacts upon its credibility, and then with only a small percentage of the audience who are unlikely to protest, publicly anyway.
Concluding with some neat-o trivia; this project got its start as a crowd-funding campaign at Kickstarter, where it reached its goal of $50,000.00, in less than twenty days! I suspect that having Sam Trammell on board from the very beginning really paid off. I am guessing that his frequent and personable messages to their "backers," and to the entire world, attracted more than a few True Blood fans to pledge money at www.kick starter.com. Additional costs were covered by co- writer/producer Shaun Sanghani, who also collaborated with McCann on his 2014 film White Rabbit.
This is definitely not date-night type of material; it is a serious film about a dark subject with a pretty simple message: do not get really high, call a hooker and then refuse to pay the girl after she gets there. For those looking for an honest, unblinking and unapologetic depiction of what the aftermath can be like when you know that you are responsible for the loss of someone loved; then look no further.