Reviews: Lamb (2015)

The Movie Sleuth was turned on to Lamb, so we reviewed it. 

Every so often a film comes along that sticks by you like a disturbed and voiceless friend. Lamb is a story that strikes so many perpetually odd shaped chords that it's sincerely hard to put into words what a strange and dour world we live in. Tackling weighty subject matter such as abuse, abduction and child neglect, Lamb is a brooding film centered on a small lead cast of two great actors. As a character study this is an amazing work by Ross Partridge that paints a relationship between a grown man and a young girl in an unsettling portrait of broken humanity and misdirected self redemption. With emotionally strident performances from Partridge and Oona Laurence, this awkward tale is like nothing else from 2015/16. 

russ partridge
Malick anyone?

This is a film that exists in our harsh reality that wanders down a path so misleading and possibly horrid, that it becomes a surreal experience hinging on a forbidden relationship that could go one of two ways: either the sexually perverse or the completely opposite. Sadly, the human brain always tends to lean towards the dark and foreboding. Are Lamb's intentions to harm her? Is there any sexual deviancy behind his off putting plan?  Is this another Lolita? Or is it a true blue case of adult interaction in the life of a child that would have otherwise taken a misstep towards self destruction and loss? These questions are asked and answered at an extremely slow pace that resolves itself with one the most heart wrenching conclusions in years. 

russ partridge oona laurence
Yo mang! Got any smokes?
Lamb is unlike any movie produced in the past decade and strives to make its audience uncomfortable but oddly forgiving at the same time. This is a film about broken people that somehow turns everything on its side. A man that would be considered a criminal by modern society's standards becomes the hero in a young girl's eyes as his journey to self discovery leads them to a beautiful yet broken down environment that obviously mirrors the reality they're both trying to run from. Death and disappointment surround us at every turn. Broken relationships cannot be escaped but must be dealt with. Lamb deals with this head on. 

Capturing a young girl's first time interaction with mother nature and all her beauty is offset by the tragedy of life that surrounds them at each and every turn. Although some may find the subject matter a grey area that borders on child abuse and abduction, there is a worthwhile character arc that will either anger viewers or speak to the flawed personas that experience this film first hand. Navigating through the subjective weeds of Lamb's story, I feel like I walked away having seen something new and revealing that never took my time for granted. 

With minor shades of older Terrence Malick films like Badlands and Days of Heaven, this is a slow burn that concentrates on relishing in environments and the gradual development of a small cast of morally challenged characters. 

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