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CIFF 2013: MOURNING HAS BROKEN

Tuesday 01st, October 2013 / 00:01

mourninghasbroken

Film: Mourning Has Broken
Director: Jason Butler
Country: Canada

Ever have one of those days where nothing seems to go right and that no matter how hard you try to be a nice person, the world just keeps taking a dump on you?

Mourning Has Broken is a film that has universal appeal. Everyone has bad days. Everyone gets frustrated. It is unhealthy to keep feelings of intense anger and frustration inside. While most people tend to find constructive ways to let it all out, the film is still a nice bit of revenge fantasy playing on the ubiquitous idea of “What If?” that we all share.

That is what happens to the never named husband, who, one morning, wakes up to find his wife dead beside him in bed. To block out the pain of what has happened, the husband goes about his daily errands to keep his body and mind occupied. Try as he might, he can’t catch a break. The husband drives from place to place becoming continually frustrated. He gets stuck at a seemingly never-ending red light. He spills his coffee that he waited ages for in the Tim Horton’s drive-thru. He gets yelled at and verbally abused by a woman wanting his parking spot. His neighbour criticizes his car-washing technique. Many more unfortunate things happen to him.

This all leads up to him going to watch a movie and having the experience ruined by loud talkers, loud eaters and texters. He decides that he’s finally had enough, so he walks up on the stage during the movie and berates every person in the room. This brilliant scene is the high point of the film. Any casual filmgoer will laugh at this scene, but diehard cineastes will absolutely adore it.

Robert Nolan plays the husband and is absolutely phenomenal. Nolan encapsulates the struggle of the every-man to a pitch perfect degree. One of the things that co-directors Brett and Jason Butler do so well is create an internal monologue for the husband to go through as the film progresses. Every thought that goes through his head is a thought that each member of the audience has had at one point or another. It is this sense of overwhelming frustration that every person who watches the film will associate with so entirely. Despite what is going on in the film, the audience can still connect and relate to the characters. Mourning Has Broken does that in spades.

Similar to quality, style and tone of the film God Bless America, Mourning Has Broken is an excellent satire on all of the things that annoy us and we wish we could change. If some movies are meant to be pure escapism, then Mourning Has Broken is the highest kind of catharsis a movie ticket can buy.

By Philip Clarke 

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