Wednesday 29 February 2012

Small Town Murder Songs [2010]

Small Town Murder Songs has been referred to as “Coenesque” – whoever said that must have done so with Fargo in mind; however, the only similarities that I found between the two films were – the rural setting, the moody photography, and the presence of Peter Stormare in the cast (albeit on opposite sides of the law, and with a much bigger speaking part in this one). But, where the the Coens’ masterpiece was ironic and darkly funny, this is as serious a film as it gets. Set in a sparsely populated locale in Ontario, this dark and sombre Canadian film is a deliberately paced mood-piece on Christian themes of guilt and retribution. When the disrobed body of a woman’s corpse is found in the bushes, it throws the entire town, hitherto not affected by incidents of violent crimes, into a state of chaos – and the person who is most affected is a devout, middle-aged cop (powerfully played by Peter Stormare) who is convinced that the guy his former girlfriend is living with is the murderer. Caught in a dicey tangle between his ultra-religious fiancé and his ravishing former girlfriend he is obviously still attracted to, he starts imploding from within that could very well lead to catastrophes for him – both personally and professionally. The film’s soundtrack comprises of an excellent collection of gospel/folk songs. However, as most would agree, the director ought to have spent more time in further developing the characters, the various dynamics and the intricacies of the storyline.

Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Genre: Crime Drama/Psychological Drama
Language: English
Country: Canada


Sam Juliano said...

Your reservations are well-established here, and I completely concur. It does have some striking sequences, but overall it never comes together. You have done well in arguing the issues.

Shubhajit said...

Thanks Sam. Though I did like it, I felt this movie had incredible potential that wasn't realized. However, that said, a pretty good film nonetheless.