For those latter-day Terrence Malick junkies amongst us, THE VESSEL is a film that has mistaken slipped under the radar. It’s a small and very intimate picture that is set in modern-day Puerto Rico where a small town is still deeply affected a tsunami’s wave that wiped out a school, killing all of the children. The dilapidation became suffocating until a series of divine events happened that instilled hope and caution.
From executive producers Terrence Malick and his, partner Sarah Green comes a film that is cut from the Malick cloth; the film tells an acute tale but has so much more to say than the fragmented events we see on the screen. Quintana keeps a very taut narrative structure, yet with very elusive camerawork and a beautiful score by Hanan Townshed, he creates a film that is a whimsical force of nature.
Martin Sheen anchors the film as the Catholic Priest who has been the town’s shepherd since the tsunami wave that washed the life out of the town. Sheen, like in all his turns, is deeply moving with his performance, straddling the line between apathy and hope. Sheen has rarely been better, and for an actor of his caliber, that’s saying a lot.
THE VESSEL is a deeply spiritual film that breathes life into our cinematic realm that’s being taken over by whatever big budget franchise is set to implode at the nearest theatre. It’s a wonderful film filled with hope, tragedy, and inspiration.
THE VESSEL is now streaming on Starz.