In the center of the chamber drama “Mass” the couple has a lot in common. Each couple has two children, one living and one dead. And they share the same tragedy. Linda and Richard’s son Hayden shoots Gail and Jay’s son Evan at a school, before aiming a gun at himself.
Years have passed, and now the couple has gathered in the back room of a church to discuss their children – who was taken, and who was taken. Gail (Martha Plimpton) and Jay (Jason Isaacs) start this meeting, and their goal is to uncover the facts that led to the murder of their child. Gail and Jay ask questions, and Linda (Ann Dowd) and Richard (Reed Byrne) answer, recounting their efforts to seek psychological help for their son and decisions that did not stop their violence.
Writer and director Fran Kranz stages the troupe like a play. The actors are seated facing each other in the same room, and camera work is minimized, alternating between close-ups. Dialogue limits the amount of knowledge given to the audience about how or why the central panic happened. This measured approach allows the emotions that shimmer on the faces of the film’s veteran cast to register as markers of not only wonderful acting – though there is a lot of it – but with the power to advance an introspective plot. as events.
The film lacks the gut punch of live theatre, the thrill or unease of watching people show their emotions in real time. But as in cinema, it demonstrates the effectiveness of simplicity. A well-written script and an exemplary cast can still make a film worth watching.
PG-13 rating in terms of violence. Running time: 1 hour 50 minutes. in Theaters.