Transgression(s)

Directed by Eric Webber  |  Review by Moumita Deb

Transgression(s) is an averagely engaging film, paced correctly, told in a fragmented manner yet with pieces that fit obviously. It may come as a surprise that the mystery can be revealed on backward and keep the suspense, but then that’s what every mystery film is supposed to be, except this one’s just artfully backward. Whether that works well for the film depends on how many times it has to be seen, and many have found that they can watch it once for the surprise, twice for better enlightenment, and perhaps thrice for the enjoyment.

The psychological thriller is a genre of film that is very complex to confront. This experiment by Eric Weber is a first approach, done with no budget that stages the secrets and mutual lies of a couple told from the perspective of a middle-aged Afro-American woman that thinks that the relationship between her and her husband has been clarified after a conversation. But the husband, that tells her, as a voice of her conscience, that she is a liar and that she’s hiding something, is the one who is protecting the biggest secret. The victim turns out to be the aggressor.

It is an effort which contains some good ideas, even if it has some major technical flaws, so it can be regarded as a first experiment which has to be developed in something bigger and better in the future. The ideas behind the sounds and the titles suggest us that if this director would be able to work with a better crew, he could achieve some good results with his intentions.

This short, even if it’s made on a low budget, sometimes sets the right tone and atmosphere. We would be very curious to see how it would develop if a producer could see far and believe in such a small project to see it grow and reach its full potential. We sincerely hope Eric Weber will be given a chance to do so. Victoria Flowers is a middle-aged African-American woman who believes she and her husband, David Flowers, have “straightened out” their differences after they have shared coffee and conversation. She is about to find out how wrong she is.

Right from the start, you know what the end result is, yet, you really don’t know what happened. It manages to keep the viewer guessing and asking questions, despite already have given away the ending. That is some truly genius writing and directing on Weber’s part, once again demonstrating his immense talent. Every scene is positively dripping with mystery and suspense, and I can’t remember the last time I was so riveted to the screen. This is probably Weber’s best film to date, and I strongly suggest you seek it out.

A few scenes into the gloom and you’ll have a good idea what is generally up, if not the specifics, making the journey toward the eventual, inevitable twist reasonably one-dimensional. It’s a result so painfully logical, Transgression(s) is yet another movie that looks stylish, is well acted, offers an intriguing plot – then goes on to begin looking overly familiar.

The film has an ending that provides a satisfactory, or at least a believable, explanation for its mysteries and contradictions. But the movie is not about the plot, and while the conclusion explains the protagonist’s anguish, it doesn’t account for it. The director working from a screenplay wants to convey a state of mind, and he does that with no disturbing effectiveness. The photography is cold slates, blues, and grays, the palate of despair. We see Victoria’s world so clearly through her eyes that only gradually does it occur to us that every life is seen through a filter.

Both emotionally and physically, Weber nails the character he portrays. As the movie progresses, you get dragged into it, realizing what is what, how everything is starting to make sense, and a satisfying conclusion to leave you with.

 

Moumita-Deb

Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking