Communion (2013) – By Misty Layne

Revenge thriller Communion is the fourth feature film from critically acclaimed award winning Director Greg Hall and his filmmaking collective Broke But Making Films (BBMF). Over the past nine years BBMF have established themselves as producing some of the most exciting independent cinema from the UK amongst audiences at home, internationally and within the industry.

Paul Marlon is Father Clemence, a man burned by his faith, taken to executing his own form of vigilante justice as he takes to the road, in search of retribution. But along the way, he is joined by Maria (Ana Gonzalez Bello), a hitch hiking punk full of attitude, who is fleeing her home in Mexico City. Together, the odd couple embark on a roller coaster of adventure that is, at times, both harrowing and heartwarming.

The first thing I have to say about this film is this – it is beyond amazing. I tend to enjoy most films, it’s true, but it’s also rare that I gush but this I can do nothing but gush over. Everything about this movie works. Paul Marlon is phenomenal as Father Clemence, from the first second he appears on screen. The film opens with a priest and a sermon and as his sermon goes on, the priest become overwhelmed with emotion, a single tear falling onto his Bible before he suddenly just walks out, slowly disrobing of his uniform and leaving his congregation behind. From there, the action hits hard and never lets up (even though this isn’t an action filled movie – it’s equal parts action and talkie). And once our priest meets his sassy hitchhiking sidekick, the film gets even better.

The story isn’t unique – we’ve all seen vigilante justice priest before – but this film takes that trope and lends to it an air of excitement, adventure, and empathy. The film wavers between current day and the past, allowing us only to see bits and pieces of what triggered in our man of faith his inability to believe anymore, slowly leading us on a winding road to the finale where we find out why our priest is on his individual trail of justice and destruction. It’s an intriguing path to take and while on one hand, we root for the priest during all his vicious attacks (because c’mon, who doesn’t love a good priest gone rogue vigilante story?), we also start to actually sympathize with him, feel for him and his pain, even when we aren’t sure why yet.

Add in Maria and the film becomes perfection. I can’t remember the last time I loved a character so much (maybe Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?). Maria is one of the most beautifully, brilliantly complicated characters I’ve seen in a while (our priest included) and she more than holds her own, at times even stealing the spotlight away from Father Clemence. She’s part bad-ass, part wounded child – walking the fine line of defiant teenager and lost little girl. And she is stunningly beautiful. Ana Gonzalez Bello has been added to my list of “Actresses to Watch” and for good reason. She absolutely blew me away in this movie with her heart wrenchingly, achingly raw performance.

The film itself is lovely to behold – the cinematography is great and the locations, at times, become a part of our characters, adding instead of drawing attention away from them. The various cinematic expressions are fun and mixed – nothing is completely straight up in this movie, hence why I couldn’t fairly call it just a “revengesploitation”, just an “action” or just a “dramatic” film. Greg Hall and BBMF have a surefire winner on their hands with this one. No matter what your preferred genre, this is a must see for all.

You can find out more about Communion and BBMF by visiting their website so I advise you to do say posthaste. What are you waiting for?