Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Accused (2023) Overlook FIlm Festival

ACCUSED concerns a man who is mistaken for a terrorist after a bombing. It seems he was dressed similarly to the person responsible and thanks to social media jumping to conclusions the furor causes some vigilantes to hunt him.

ACCUSED is a bit of a curate’s egg of a film for me. It’s an uneasy mix of social commentary and thriller where the parts are better than the whole. Actually ACCUSED is a three act film. The first is life before the attack and the attack. The second is the discovery that social media has made a really grave mistake. The third is the a home invasion by a couple of vigilantes. The first two parts seem to be a different film than the physical fight for survival.

I love the pieces of the film.

I love how the film shows how social media spreads a story and how it fans the flames of hatred and distrust. There is the wonderful scene of the train after the bombing as we watch how the story and rumors spread. It’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking. The entire early part of the film up to the stalking is sterling look at how our society seems to work today. It’s biting commentary that really makes us think about the insanity going on around us. You feel the fear of being singled out on social media and not being able to stop the craziness.

And then the film shifts gears and the film becomes a really good thriller as vigilantes invade and try to kill the person they think is responsible for the bombing. It’s a wonderfully made battle for survival.

The problem for me is the two pieces feels a awkwardly put together. The thrills that are in the second half are really good, and actually nicely more realistic than most similar thrillers, but it feels like a different movie than the first half with the switch not being as perfect as it should be. There is a bump which I was willing to let go until the film switches back in the final moments for the sting in the tail. The end is an absolutely needed moment and the perfect ending but it made me really feel the different clothes the film was cut from.

Quibbles aside ACCUSED is a hell of a film and it will make you realize the damage our social media obsessed society can inflict on individuals.


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