"Blessid" is a difficult film to strongly recommend. On one hand, some of the story is exceptional and quite original. But, on the other, the story also has a lot of distractions...things that could have been shortened or eliminated in order to make the film work better. I talked with the screenwriter for the film, Robert Heske, and it turns out he agreed with some of my concerns. Additionally, I then learned that this is Heske's first full-length film and despite being a bit rough, there is a lot to like and the film shows lots of promise.
The story begins with Sarah (Rachel Kerbs) married and soon to have her first child. She should be happy, right? Well, in this case no...Sarah is extremely depressed and suicidal...with no direction in her life and a loveless marriage. Some of it is perhaps due to her husband but most is that Sarah is tormented by baggage. Through the course of the movie, you learn that when she was a teen, her sister died and she and her mother blame her for this. So no matter what good happens in her life, Sarah is filled with guilt and is just miserable. Even a stint in a psychiatric hospital did nothing to help Sarah with her self-hatred. However, when a strange new neighbor, Jedediah (Rick Montgomery Jr.), moves in, her life begins to show some....well...life! He's an odd sort of guy and a man with many, many secrets. What they are and how he helps her, you'll just have to see for yourself. Suffice to say, the two are very well written, complex and interesting characters. Plus the actors really did an amazing job in playing these demanding parts. I especially was excited watching Montgomery, as there aren't many meaty parts for middle-aged guys...and he makes the most of it.
As I mentioned earlier, the film has a few problems. When it's not focused on Sarah and Jedediah, the story seems confusing and a bit overly complicated. Frankly, I just wanted to see more of these two people and the others didn't necessarily have to be in the film or their parts could have been trimmed a bit to help the movie. According to Henke, the original film actually did have much more in it about strange friendship...I would love to have been able to see what didn't make it into the movie.
What we are left with is a film that isn't perfect but which shows a lot of promise for the screenwriter. Additionally, two actors who may not have an extensive set of credits but who deserve to be seen more. Overall, this is enough to give "Blessid" a mild recommendation and it's available now through Amazon Prime. Also, parents might want to beware, as the language can be a bit rough...which isn't surprising due to the woman's depression and the folks in her life.
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