Written by: Nnamdi Kanaga | Directed by: Nnamdi Kanaga | Genre: Drama / Suspense
The Hail Mary truly is a great film, and just so anyone reading this is aware, I will try to keep things as spoiler-free as possible while still trying to get my point across. The film opens many years prior and gives the audience the backbone needed to bring this dramatic gem to life. Terrell (Sean Michael Harrison) has just lost his mother, and while grieving, he is spotted by his father, Darius (Ozzie Jones), who, instead of comforting his son, warns him to keep his emotions in check and stay strong. This is the underlying premise for this entire film and is very important. Unable to cope with his wife's death himself, Darius returns to work in the military.
Years later, the two are on their way to a new home and possibly a new life, but for Terrell, his father has been gone for too much of his life to simply forgive and forget. Darius, for all intents and purposes, has been an absent father, but with the help of family, Terrell has seemingly grown up fine. He didn't end up on the streets and had a passion for music. The remainder of the film focuses on the relationship or lack of relationship between father and son. The emotional damage caused to Darius by the death of his wife and the damage caused to Terrell by his mother's death and his father's absence. The Hail Mary doesn't pull any punches; that much is clear from the start. By the time Terrell's teacher enters the fray, played by Nnamdi Kanaga himself, the audience should be hooked; I know I was.
But The Hail Mary is not just about parental absenteeism, and that's the real beauty of this film. Included in this dramatic feature are thoughts not only of parenting but also P.T.S.D. and the attempts people will go to hide their emotions. One line in this film particularly summed things up for me, "Fathers and sons, fathers and sons." This movie is about dealing with emotions and how many men of the world are taught to bottle them up no matter the cost. The father/son relationship is just the catalyst to explore a slew of other issues. I won't go into any more details, but The Hail Mary really is the whole package, and for a micro-budget film, it is incredibly impressive.
This was a well-written, excellently acted film that just zipped by. Filled with excellent performances from everyone involved, I see no reason to rate this movie with 4.5 stars. In my opinion, it really was "that" good. The Hail Mary is one to watch for and when given a chance, check it out. You'll be glad you did. Thank you for reading.
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