Free In Deed

Free In Deed ★★★½

I usually don't concentrate so hard on the performances but the cast was amazing, especially David Harewood's performance as the damaged, blessed-by-God healer (a power he believes he has). The story itself, solid. The tight cinematography works well most of the time, but its that slight halo-effect around characters or lights at times that did become too persistent. The muted colors and the score became a bit much at times, although I recognize they are fully trying to keep in step with the larger motifs. But I must admit the second part of the film nearly lost me. Absolutely bored with it. Times where I couldn't hear Harewood's character. But the director, Mahaffy, stays the course, rides the strong ideas and themes the film is trying to tackle and he eventually rides them to their best end in terms of the quality of the film, meaning it ended the way it had to. Eventually, through tragedy, Mahaffy and crew save the film. Court systems and medical institutions come up among other things, and Mahaffy could have easily just let them be some simple one-off but instead, we watch--for example-- Edwina Dickerson's character bounce around from hospital to hospital, doctor to doctor with her special needs child and continuously turned away, falling through the cracks. Which ties into how through blind faith, if you want to call it that, can leave someone who is desperate and vulnerable to be manipulated by various people and institutions. Mahaffy never damns the church, which many directors and writers would not have been able to resist. Instead Mahaffy showed their warts, as he did the hospital's and the working/living conditions of what I perceived to be on the outskirts of Memphis, TN. Not too far away from me at all. Now what Mahaffy has left, is another viewing maybe a few years from now. Because their is a lot packed into this micro-budget project. What do we do when no one can help? Cannot help percolate in the backs of the viewers minds even as we witness in the final scene one of the main characters not lose their faith but in fact literally crawl back to God.

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