Title: Enthusiastic Sinners
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Mark Lewis
Starring: Maggie Alexander, Christopher Heard
Runtime: 1 hr 25 mins
What It Is: A cop (Christopher Heard) is called in to investigate a disturbance, and upon entering the property of a small-town widow (Maggie Alexander), passionate and lustful intentions soon take over them both.
What We Think: “A few hours can be a lifetime if we use it right”. A quote from the film that pretty much sums up how I feel about the third directorial effort by Mark Lewis. Negatives out of the way first: There are a lot of really compelling and emotional ideas that exist in the film’s story, and those themes are sadly revealed in the last 20 minutes. Up until that point, I did not feel any connection with the characters onscreen. The eroticism in the film is used not as sparingly as one would think and I felt like it was used a little too much at times, to the point where one of the scenes where the characters have passionate sex came completely out of nowhere and left me quite perplexed. The cinematography during the first hour or so is also very bland and not colorful at all, if there were some vibrant colors during these intimate scenes instead of harsh fluorescent lights I might’ve felt the ardor between the characters onscreen. Again, all of this is solved in the last 20 mins of the film. I honestly feel like this could’ve been an excellent short film rather than a feature because there is a lot in here that really doesn’t need to be.
However, there is a fascinating and seductive story underneath the surface of this film that isn’t explored as in-depth as it should. The script itself isn’t super snappy, but the performances by Christopher Heard and Maggie Alexander shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re asked to do quite a bit and they are able to convey the intense passion that their characters share very well, their chemistry is great, to say the least. As I mentioned before and will mention one last time, the final 20 minutes of this film are the best aspect out of the whole 85-minute runtime. The performances are gripping and very raw, the cinematography flourishes with powerful images, and the conversations between the characters at the end are written splendidly.
Our Grade: C+, It’s a very intriguing and attractive story with passionate and riveting performances. However, that story only just beings during the film’s final moments. Definitely best viewed as a short film, and in this case, the best is indeed saved for last.