Confessional (2019) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

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Confessional has a sense of intimacy which allows each character to personally unfurl to you and deepen the mystery and reveal of the truth.


Director(s) Brad T Gottfred
Screenplay By Jennifer Wolfe
Date Released Coming Soon
Genre(s) Mystery, Drama
Good If You Like Intimately Knowing Characters

Films Which Push You To Question Who Did What To Who

Isn’t For You If You Want To See The Events Characters Talk About
Noted Cast
Amelia Mia Xitlali
Zach Brandon Larracuente
June Paris Berelc
Garrett Marcus Scribner
Major Lucas Adams
Raquel Annalisa Cochrane
Carrie Jess Gabor
Sai Jake Short
Noelle Vanessa Marano

Confessional Plot Summary

In one-night, multiple people who were friends, lovers, or knew Amelia Lincoln and Zach Turner are invited to a booth to continue a series Amelia did. One which asks of these college students to confess something about themselves – often the worse thing they did. However, what was voluntary before isn’t now. For with someone finding and using Amelia’s tapes for blackmail, now what has to be confessed isn’t what you want to say but the truth. Which, if you avoid the truth, and the person believes you are lying, there are consequences. The kind which alters lives.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Take note of the time in the film.

Highlights

The Fact The Names Repeated

With the film broken up into multiple parts, which don’t feature each character in each section, the movie repeatedly presenting who is who aides in you being able to connect details to a person early on. For while the cast isn’t huge, it’s big enough to get so deep into June or Garrett’s story that you may forget who Major or Raquel is.

The One on One Focus

There is a bit of an intensity in you looking into the eye of an actor and seeing each expression head on. There are no over the camera shots, you feeling like you are seeing them through someone else’s eyes really, it is this uncomfortable direct connection. One which makes it so you understand the idea of looking into someone’s eyes reveals the truth for the actors push you to take note of their posture, their expression, and it makes you feel like you are doing a character study and what little you may know about psychology is being put to use.

But, at times it does get a little freaky as this one on one intimacy feels like someone venting to you or confessing to you as if you are the only one they trust. Granted, under some form of coercion, but it pushes you to realize how voyeuristic most movies are with you being the ghost in the corner. Someone there but never acknowledged. Yet, even if they aren’t talking to you, the viewer, in Confessional, you do feel unable to be this anonymous entity just taking note of a interesting life or scenario.

Title Cards & Texts Keeping You On Track – As Well As Make You Laugh A Little

With so many characters and each having a different perspective and part of the mystery which is Amelia and Zach’s circumstances, it makes the title cards and texts sent a godsend. For one, they help make the transitions a bit smoother and honestly produce a few comedic moments as they joke about confessors and call them out sometimes. Thus making things a bit cerebral for sometimes the judgements align with what you’re thinking, and while it doesn’t get so serious that you believe Wolfe wrote this while reading your mind, it does create an eerie feeling.

When The Truth Comes Out

At your standard hour and a half runtime, Confessional makes it so, as the truth unravels, you are satisfied as theories you came up with are confirmed, as well as people are given their comeuppance. Now, I will admit, you will guess a good majority of people’s truths, but strangely, even with guessing correctly, the actors make it so you still get giddy to see how they handle revealing their truth and learning others.

On The Fence

There Are Points You’ll Wish For Flashbacks To See What Happened

While some characters end up sharing the booth, most of the film is an isolated experience. This means we don’t get to see Carrie go from the girl Sai envisions to the one with a black eye. Major may seem like a major force, thanks to how often he is talked about, but you never see him in action. Then, when it comes to Raquel? Well, while a central part of this all, you miss out on seeing her interact with her clients.

Now, the other side to this coin is that if things did get to play out, we may have lost the connection we got to each character. So rather than see the layers we got from Raquel not getting to play off anyone, she may just seem like this drug dealer who has a femme fatale edge. Leaving each character barely able to evolve beyond a one-line summary.

Miscellaneous Commentary

One of the things I’m wondering about is how this would be in a theater environment? With receiving a screener, I’m watching this at night, headphones on, and I wonder if that amplified the intensity of many of the things noted as positive. Pushing the idea, when this becomes publicly available, how would sharing the experience in a theater change things? If you feel characters like Noelle are speaking to more than just you, does that take away from that direct connection? When someone’s eyes are made to be huge, and you’re not staring at them directly on a computer or TV screen, does that change things?

A part of me wants to put this in the On The Fence section, but it’s being put on the side since I honestly don’t know what effect seeing this with others, on the big screen, would have for you.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing) | Currently On The Festival Circuit

Confessional Poster featuring the cast of the movie.

What leads to Confessional being rated positive is because it allows you to feel part of the mystery. While entertainment is often about escapism, the eye contact and not feeling like a voyeur in a situation pushes you to really address what is said, facial expressions, and each actor’s performance. Leading you to experience this weird sense of superiority as your judgements come true, but not feeling that the predictability ruins the experience.

So while not currently available to the public, definitely keep Confessional on your radar.

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