VOD REVIEW: Complex Materna a good film that does too much

Too much of a good thing can inevitably make you sour on it.

Materna is a movie with a good concept and game stars that pushed my patience. It told the stories of four women connected only by a terrifying subway car encounter.

But we’re given exposition and a view into the lives of these characters without ever really having time to care about them. I’m a fan of character development, but what was it in service of here?

Materna is a competent, well-made picture that suffers from a little too much development and not enough action. There’s a threat of a large event, but there’s tension building to not much in the end.

In terms of psychology, the studies of women from different cultural, ethnic, economic and sociological backgrounds is spot-on. They just don’t come together as seamlessly as I’d like.

Co-writer and director David Gutnik sees actresses Kate Lyn Shell, Jade Eshete, Lindsay Burdge and Assol Abdullina all give fine portrayals.

Credit also to Sturgill Simpson and Rory Culkin – in a great cameo – for wonderful supporting work.

One wishes this could have come together more seamlessly, but as it stands I can only give it a mild recommendation.

3/5 Stars

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