Director: David Midell
Story By: David Midell
Cast: Frankie Faison, Anika Noni Rose, Enrico Natale, Steve O’Connell, Ben Marten, & Angela Peel
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I had a feeling this film was going to be good, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this damn good and powerful. Definitely one of the best films and performances this year.
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Below are my grades for key components in #TheKillingOfKennethChamberlain that I find to be key in any story/film/series—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development.
Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch/$$$, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), Wait for Streaming, Don’t Rush, & Don’t Watch.
I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.
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Plot & Story: A
Character Arc/Development: A
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General Public: Worth the $$$
Easily Triggered by Racial Injustice: Don’t Rush
Dramatic Thriller Lovers: Worth the $$$
Film Enthusiasts: Worth the $$$
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1. The messaging was clear at the very beginning of the film via the quote from Christopher L Hayes—(paraphrased) “For some, police are a sign of safety and protection, for others it’s fear and terror.” Frankie Faison embodied the fear and terror.
Then the cinematography and sound mixing! My goodness. The way the screen violently jerks when actions agitated Frankie Faison, and the jarring assimilation of the hearing aid. My goodness!
And then the overall direction with the intentional camera angles. Just 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
2. We may not have had the chance to see Anika Noni Rose, but she did her damn thing on that phone. That was some serious voice acting. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
3. I appreciated the ending credits. And you will, too. 👍🏾👍🏾
4. That entire scene with the initial “attempt…” the way the screen jerked, and the pitch of the aid… #Whew! 🤭
5. The arc and development of Kenneth Chamberlain was executed extremely well, and because of the delivery by Frankie Faison, and the overall direction, it felt like I was literally sharing his experience of feeling at peace and secure, to feeling confused and in need of support, to feeling fearful, then triggered and traumatized by multiple external and internal factors. The way the film begins and ends is such a powerful, polar juxtaposition to solidifying the character’s arc and development. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
6. Pacing was also extremely strong, and supported the arc/development of Chamberlain while also taking the audience on this intense experience.
What’s interesting is that this film has about 7-8 active characters—5 physical and 3 over the phone—all shot in one location/shared confined space, and the film moves without any dead space. Every moment is accounted for. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
7. I remember at one one point feeling like that officer was too forced…but then I learned that performance wasn’t forced at all. 🤭
8. The amount of times I cried in this film. My gosh. I wasn’t expecting that at all, and it all started with the first phone call with his son. 😔
9. Baby, it was the irony for me in that damn stairwell in that moment of “need.” 🧐
10. The story—a retelling of how an accident led to a veteran, suffering with mental and physical disabilities, being murdered in his home by police.
As mentioned plenty of times in this review, Daniel Midell does an amazing job executing this story and the fear and helplessness of Kenneth Chamberlain that it accompanies.
Act One allows the audience to understand our situation, the foundational components to our characters, and sets the tone for the film. Act Two gives us more depth to who our character is, and also sheds more light (and even complexity) on our antagonists. Then Act Three just turns the dial up on everything we’ve come to comprehend from the first two Acts—the story feels like a crescendo. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
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Overall, #TheKillingOfKennethChamberlain gives The Father – meets the second half of Act Three in Da 5 Bloodz – meets A Beautiful Mind.
As I tweeted immediately following my viewing experience, this film is an intense, triggering, and important visual. David Midell did some amazing work with this film, and Frankie Faison gave an empathic embodying, fear exuding, and overall stellar performance as our experience-lead.
Who I would also like to add to this praise are cinematographer Camrin Petramale and the entire sound department. This team definitely elevated this film into one that was immersive in such a painful, yet necessary way.
Side note: Life Alert should have their own dispatch team that is made primarily of those trained to assist individuals with varying social and/or environmental disorders.