Angel of Mine, directed by Kim Farrant, is a new mystery film that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to say. Sometimes gripping, frequently shocking, and often unsatisfying, this movie ends up being all over the place, and not in a good way.
The film follows a mother who loses touch with reality when she begins to believe that her daughter who died tragically years before may still be alive. The story of this movie seems like it would be ripped from the pages of a soap opera script because it is so over-the-top and ridiculous. It is hard to get absorbed into the story because of how outlandish it is.
The pacing of the film is also quite lackluster. It takes about forty-five minutes before you fully realize what’s going on, and as such, the beginning of the movie drags significantly. The second half of the film, once the main reveal is made, is where the movie starts to tread into silly territory. However, with this increased goofiness, the film also becomes much more entertaining because you can’t believe what you are watching.
Another frustrating thing about this movie is that it is painfully obvious with everything that it has to say regarding the themes. The film offers commentary on the importance of the truth, grief, and mental illness, all of which are topics that have been handled more successfully in other movies before. Since this film tries to juggle so much, it ends up being unable to hit any of its bases with enough depth to be effective.
Additionally, the character development in the movie is lackluster. The protagonist, played by Noomi Rapace, is not particularly likable. Although we pity her for having lost her child tragically, her personality is severely off-putting, and as such, it is difficult to form a deeper connection with her. The supporting characters are paper-thin too, but that is likely because the protagonist is such a dominant force.
Rapace is certainly chewing the scenery in her role, and even though her turn may not be particularly subtle or nuanced, it is fun to watch. If you look at this film as a cheesy melodrama, as you should, her performance fits very well. However, Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Rapace’s foil, is a scene-stealer. Had the movie been told from that character’s perspective, Strahovski’s performance could have made the film all the more compelling.
On a technical level, the movie is fine but unspectacular. Since the script focuses on losing touch with reality, it would have been nice had the style of the film been more surreal and dreamlike. Every once in a while, there will be a gorgeous shot that will remind you of what the movie could and should have been, but for the most part, it is overly dreary and grey.
There are some interesting moments in Angel of Mine, but more often than not, the film simply doesn’t deliver as a thriller. Apart from some solid performances, this movie has little to make it stand out from any other melodrama.
Angel of Mine hits theaters and VOD on August 30.