By midlandsmovies, Jan 1 2019 10:31AM
Midlands Review - God's Broken Things
Directed & Written By - Joe Facer & Mark Wisdom
Filmed in the village of Morton in Nottinghamshire comes new film God's Broken Things.
Late at night Matthew, a young vicar, tears off his dog collar and turns to the bottle for comfort. He is waiting for a sign, a sign of approval from God. This evening will change everything, and he knows it. It will change the past, the present, and the future. For him and all those he holds close. Does God approve, does he even care?
There seems to be something of a fascination with men of the cloth on-screen of late. Productions of all sizes and scales are taking a look at priests, and more specifically the toll that their duties appear to take on them. God’s Broken Things is a prime example from the Midlands of this very thing. With echoes of BBC’s 2017 series Broken, this short film, written and directed by Joe Facer and Mark Wisdom, who also star in it, centres around a priest who is seemingly the heart and soul of the parish he works in, but who is bit of a flawed character himself.
The first thing that strikes you when watching the film is the way colours are used, almost as if they themselves are one of the film’s storytelling devices. Straightaway, the opening shots are all monochrome, and these switch to full colours when our protagonist experiences a flashback to more fondly remembered times. Combine this with a rather sombre score and you immediately get the feeling that our priest here is a man who is not at peace with himself.
So, with that, we shall get to the man of the hour, Joe Facer, who plays Father Matthew here. The emotional turmoil that he put across in his performance is only heightened by the many other elements of the film, as I previously mentioned. What I think he does very well on his own, however, is show that Matthew is determined to admit to the things he’s done and await whatever consequences may fall upon him.
For me, the entire main body of the project played out like some sort of confession, and Richard, played by Mark Wisdom, could be seen to be acting as a kind of God-like figure with the role he took. To me, there seemed to be a lot of symbolism within the film, and I think it’s one of those watches where the more work you’re willing to put into it, the more you will take away from it.
This is something that can be very well applied to the characters and the performances that have brought them to life here because they are very minimalist; there’s no major acting out by either actor here. Everything they do achieve is through subtlety, which in turn allows the viewer to work more with what it is they see, thus enabling them to view it in whatever way they see fit.
Another thing I liked about the film, which kind of ties into half of what I’ve just said, is that Matthew is presented as a man with a number of flaws. We learn throughout the film that he’s had his share of hardships in life, and that as a result he doesn’t totally believe himself fit to be in his line of work. It’s refreshing because too often we get the kinds of priests who are beyond ignorant to their own morality.
If I’m honest, it becomes boring. But here we get someone who is relatable because of the struggles they’ve experienced. It makes it easier to care about everything he says throughout the story.
God’s Broken Things is a definite watch for anyone who wants to see men of the cloth portrayed in a more human light, but also, if we take a look at the bigger picture, it’s probably a pretty good example of a hero who never necessarily wanted to be a hero. You can just take it for what it is, but I implore you to put as much effort into it as possible because you get more out it that way. Even as I’ve written this, ideas about what certain elements could mean or be interpreted as have kept coming to me, which is exactly the kind of thing I love. A gift that keeps on giving way after you’ve watched it. I must recommend!