My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To[Blu-ray]
(Patrick Fugit, Ingrid Sophie Schram, Owen Campbell, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2021 / Dark Sky Films)
Overview: Dwight and his sister Jessie reach a crossroads over what to do about their younger brother Thomas’ mysterious illness.
The increasingly dangerous task of keeping him alive weighs heavy on sensitive Dwight, and as a fiercely private and close-knit family unit, Thomas and Jessie depend on him and the rituals they’ve learned in order to keep their secret.
Dwight yearns for another life, but Jessie will stop at nothing to keep her family together.
Blu-ray Verdict: I have to fully admit that this story of three thrifty siblings who have a special need that forces them into a gruesome trade within societies cast-offs grew on me after the first slow set-up third; and will now forever, come the ending, reside within my thoughts.
My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To is, for all intents and purposes, a downbeat, gritty drama of troubled codependency relationships that I’m quite sure will mirror real life for a lot of the viewership.
Engaging, if not somewhat darkly cagey from the off, there are quite a lot of under lit, quiet scenes, with the characters sometimes barely responsive to each other, but together with the mesmerizingly stoic musical backdrop and the artful direction and editing, the film does manage to still flow.
Aided by some rather terrifically captured cinematography and, again, with a soundtrack score that ebbs and flows, pulsates at times in perfect symmetry to the scenes being played out on screen, those character performances are, one and all, excellent.
Veined with an oh-so lightly feathered tone of horror, and definitely with a bent toward the survivalist genre, if you like your horror movies straightforward, the narrative unyielding and plainly evident, this film won’t be for you, sorry.
But if you like your suspense films tinged with the foreboding shadow of horror, whilst still remaining a branch of Art House, the layers of drama and the lonesome alienation of the mid-west to the fore at all times, then watching My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To, even with a few unanswered questions come the end, might just lead to a hidden truth about your own place in life. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
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