The film Mass, the first work of filmmaker Fran Kranz, begins by presenting the awkwardness of two church officials, namely Judy (Breeda Wool) and Anthony (Kagen Albright) when welcoming Kendra (Michelle N. Carter).
Two pairs of old people came into the room. Those people are Hayden’s father and mother, Richard (Reed Birney) and Linda (Ann Dowd) meeting Evan’s parents, namely Jai (Jason Isaacs) and Gail (Martha Plimpton).
This meeting felt heavy, caused by what happened six years ago. The tragedy of the shooting at Evan’s school. Jai and Gail’s hearts are broken when they find out that Evan is one of the victims.
Evan is not the only victim who died in this barbaric act. Another 10 children died. The mastermind behind the shooting was Hayden. Meanwhile, Hayden called suicide.
Linda tries to melt away the awkwardness by handing Gail a bouquet of flowers. The minutes that followed were dramatic and filled with tears.
The film gets even more interesting, after 20 minutes, Mass’s camera takes us nowhere but the meeting room of the four parents. Practically cinematographer Ryan Jackson Haley is required to present images so that the audience does not get bored.
Various angles are offered, from close-ups of parents’ faces, their backs to the camera, details of holding hands, to movements when one or two characters choose to leave the forum, inching to a corner.
This small movement is not only effective in dispelling boredom, but also makes the audience empathize while measuring the depth of the wounds that must be treated over the years.
What makes Mass feel a genius is that this film does not only side with the victim’s family without thinking about the destruction of the perpetrator’s family when he finds out that his son has become a murderer.
“The world mourns the 10 victims in this shooting, but we are eleven,” said Richard with a pained expression but trying to stay strong. One thing the world doesn’t count is the perpetrator who died.
This one scene is executed with deep expression. Changing the direction of empathy including the perspective of the audience. There we see the depth of mother’s love. Mass is truly heartwarming, empathetic, and raises hope about forgiveness.
Mass is one of the important films in 2021 that is worth watching this year. Mass is not showing in theaters. This film can be legally watched on KlikFilm.