10 April 2020 | cjaymet
Proof the Opposite Extreme of "Don't Over-explain to your Audience" is just as bad.
First saw this film at a film festival and honestly it was my least favorite that I saw. Despite an interesting story, Hate Crime clearly thinks its topical subject and pretentious delivery is enough to convince audiences that its vague storytelling is more effective than it is just aggravating. I was very lost while watching this film. It just feels like it's made up of interlude scenes from a better film, like most of the scenes of actual story were cut from it. I feel bad because a story focusing on the parents of a hate crime victim and perpetrator is a pretty solid pitch for a film. Now some films DO need a gimmick. As an example, the movie Boyhood is a fantastic film, but if it didn't utilize its ambitious gimmick (filming with the same actors for 12 years straight) it would have come off very mundane, tedious, and pointless. But with Hate Crime, I think its idea is interesting enough on its own without having to resort to the gimmick it used. Why use scenes that only seem to be surrounding the story without actually telling it? Why withhold this much from the audience. The gimmick just feels pretentious and sadly unnecessary, a bad combination. I understand the power of subtext in film and how you don't want to explain everything, but this film took it a couple steps too far. I remember reading in the film festival's pamphlet the summary described it something like "A film where you're not clearly told anything but you understand everything." .... Sorry but No. If it hadn't been for the summary in the pamphlet I wouldn't have understood what was going on until at least 40 minutes in. Maybe it's just the kind of film that requires you watching it a second time once you've seen the ending to fully understand. I give it props for an interesting premise and maybe it's delivery would have been great with another story but together they just didn't fit for me.