Return to Sender (2015)

I was all ready to dismiss this film out of hand, I really was. It appears to have been given the most perfunctory of releases (I wasn’t able to see it at the cinema as none in London were showing it), capitalising in its advertising on star Rosamund Pike’s appearance in (the far more stylish but not thematically unrelated) Gone Girl. However, the finished film, while hardly a masterpiece, does feel somewhat more nuanced than one might expect from a mere recounting of the plot elements — essentially it’s positioned as a rape revenge thriller. Where the interest lies is in how Pike’s character of Miranda, a nurse, moves on (or doesn’t) from that initial attack by William (Shiloh Fernandez). The film’s title alludes to the correspondence Miranda attempts to inititiate with the (now jailed) William, and one spends most of the remainder of the film wondering when and how she’s going to take revenge, or even if that’s the direction the film is going — it keeps its options open for reconciliation, as well as for some kind of retaliatory revenge from Miranda’s father (played by an ageing and heavily-bearded Nick Nolte). The moral grey areas the film attempts to touch on are largely possible because Pike has far more versatility as an actor than the script sometimes allows. As a whole, it doesn’t feel fully satisfying, but it does touch on some interesting possibilities, and Pike is never less than watchable.


© Image Entertainment

FILM REVIEW
Director Foaud Mikati | Writers Patricia Beauchamp and Joe Gossett | Cinematographer Russell Carpenter | Starring Rosamund Pike, Shiloh Fernandez, Nick Nolte | Length 95 minutes || Seen at home (Blu-ray), London, Wednesday 29 July 2015

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