Review: Care

Directed by Paul D. Mooney and written by lead actress Erin Anne MacDonald, a glimpse of how one nurse stepped up, gave everything she had to her patients, and yet found her back up against the wall. Also starring: Evan Enslow, Suparna Thies, Jeane Reveendran and Alex Kaplan.

There’s an ominous edge to Care’s opening which is interestingly matched by its bright, positively styled colours. It mixes a typical family tone of a brother-sister relationship and a slowly revealed drama, with a touch of thriller. Paul D. Mooney creates a nice amount of tension to peeling the layers of this story, pulling at your curiosity. The only weaker points are a montage themed scene, using some unnecessary slow-motion that falls too far into sentimentality and undermines the strength to the writing. As well as the editing work feeling rough at times.

Erin Anne MacDonald creates a strong lead character with Victoria, both exploring her current struggle as well as the resilience and personality beneath. There’s a genuine charisma beneath her frustration and anger, part of which is also her strong principles. Her refusal to give in despite, what would feel like, the entire world telling her she did the wrong thing, is sincerely admirable. Her lawyer brother played by Evan Enslow doesn’t quite manage to hit the same note, feeling quite wooden. With the focus being solely on Victoria, he’s secondary and therefore not as fleshed out.

A similar issue presents itself with the story, while it does have a great incremental reveal, dropping hints at first then opening up, it never tells the whole story. It technically gives enough detail but it’s not quite sufficient to also be satisfying. It feels as though there was plenty of room to dive more into her sacrifice and what exactly she did, versus the vague version which partially relies on the audience’s knowledge of covid protocols. The use of covid is also a contentious point, the exaggeration that it plays with could be interpreted in many ways and not all of which are positive. However, it’s entirely open to interpretation, so will likely not even be noticed by many viewers but would have been a good point to make perfectly clear, especially in the quick to judge society that we live in.

Care takes a classic situation of a person trying to do the right thing, following their principles and falling foul of the rules. It’s lead by a strong character, who clearly has a lot to tell and it’s only a shame we don’t get to hear more of her story. There are a few weak moments visually but otherwise, it’s shot well and has a good use of colour to ground itself while simultaneously adding an edge of intensity.

Verdict: ✯✯✯ | 6/10

Showing at FirstGlance Film Festival on 14 May

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