New From FilmRise: Unintended (2018) - Reviewed

The 2018 independent release of the dramatic film Unintended finally sees a blu-ray release on April 14th, 2020 from FilmRise. We had a chance to check it out before it finally hits the market.

When a young woman accidentally kills someone, she represses the memory only to return years later to investigate the occurrence. Was it real? Did her mind play a dirty trick on her? Or was her past buried so deep that she just can't resolve her own strange reality. Set against a rural backdrop of drugs, booze, pain and suffering, this Unintended feature is a dynamically woven mixed bag that features some excellent performances that are hampered by a weak script and a poor execution of a contemporary thriller based on the psychosis of a beautiful and engaging central character that's seeks the truth about her own history. 

Director Anja Murmann seems to have mostly dropped the ball with this project. As her second full length film, her vision is short sighted here. Unintended is another case of indie 'what could have been?'. It never really scratches the surface by just handing us characters then scrimps on giving us enough back story to actually care about them. Yes, there are some tones of abuse and neglect thrown at the screen for good measure. But, it's not enough. It almost feels like the director and writer were too scared to really dig into the furthest reaches of the why and how. In turn, this leaves the viewer with no real connection to people or story that could exist in our reality. 

Considering she had a decent cast to work with and a workable basic plot line, there could have been so much more to this movie. While her main actor Elizabeth Lail (Countdown) is busy offering up some of her best work to date, the story seems to hit a plateau and never leaves. Nothing ever seems to move. The movie just sets a stride then stays there the entire time. Even as we're finding resolution, Unintended falters at creating much needed tension or the proper steps to guide the audience through a hesitant mystery. 

Unintended fills ninety minutes with average story telling, stylistically vacant cinematography, and a group of talented actors trying to find their way through the muck of a fatigued film. Where there could have been so many unique ways to fulfill this story with complex renderings of the mind and how it works, Murmann chooses to go flat footed. It's sad. There is something far greater below the facade of this mostly underwhelming feature. It would have been an amazing film had they thrown all their cards on the table.