Films about mass shootings aren’t that prevalent in today’s society. Mass directed by Fran Krantz is the latest film dealing with a mass shooting at a school. Though this film is fictional, it brings home the mental state of our children these days and the gun control issue in the United States, both major problems when dealing with the mass shootings of the past in this country.
Mass follows two couples played by Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Ann Dowd, and Reed Birney who assemble at a church to discuss a tragedy at a local high school. They discuss the mental state of their children and the accessibility of guns in their community. Who’s to blame in this pointless tragedy. And how do they fit into the decisions of their children? Are they fit parents or not? These are all the questions this film asks and answers while these four people are sitting at a table in a room at a church.
All four actors have their moments to shine in this hard-hitting conversation piece. Even though the film is mostly set in one location similar to a stage play, it has quite a bit of drama and nuance between the characters. Plimpton and Dowd outshine Issacs and Bitney, but not by much. They all make their arguments on who’s to claim for this senseless killing. No one is right or wrong, but somebody has to be blamed, so why not the parents? It’s not easy looking at yourself and seeing your failures as a parent.
Mass wants to bring the question of mental illness to the forefront once again when it pertains to mass shootings. Medication seems to have been a deterrent in children with anger and self-worth issues. Krantz who also wrote the film as well as directing it has taken a side on the issue. On gun control, he seems to have taken the fifth as it pertains to the film. The couple pretty much glosses over gun control.
At the end of the day, Mass tackles all the pertinent subject matter involving the children involved and their motivations and who’s really to blame for this tragic event. It points fingers at mental health and lets the gun control issue off scot-free. The performances by all four leads were terrific. They channeled their emotions perfectly. Whatever it took to go to these dark places to get the emotions they needed was astounding. Bravo to all of them.
Dan Skip Allen
Founder/EIC disappointment media