A mother’s fury | Film critic
June 23, 2022
A mother’s furythough it dresses up in the guise of a significant drama about the cinematically overlooked American phenomenon of “hazing” and the legal avenues colleges take to avoid guilt, is in reality a thinly veiled exploitative revenge film – though only with a fabulous central performance by Siobhan Fallon Hogan.
Hogan, who also writes and produces, is Barbara, a rude but devout Irish Catholic mother of four. Her eldest son, Jimmy (Jay Jay Warren), is shown in the foreground, blindfolded with duct tape wrapped around his wrists, as one of a motorcade of freshmen enduring a humiliating ordeal at the end of their fraternity president, Steven (Jake Weary), in an initiation that feels more like a satanic death cult than a declaration of “friendship, loyalty and virtue”.
Once initiated, the members of the fraternity engage in a debauched party of drugs and alcoholism. When Steven adds Xanax to Jimmy’s drink, tragedy ensues as Jimmy is thrown into a fatal coma. Barbara, grieving and losing steam, makes it her mission to build solidarity among mothers who have experienced similar injustice in hopes of changing legislation that allows colleges to avoid liability in such cases. After facing strong resistance, Barbara opts for a more direct method of justice.
In Barbara’s rugged ingenuity and perceived gracelessness around people and places of grandeur, there’s more than a touch of Julia Roberts’ Erin Brokovich, and Hogan’s performance is equally gritty yet charming. That, however, marks the beginning and end of quality comparisons to Steven Soderbergh’s sure drama. Here, the script’s wild left in exploitation doesn’t quite land as intended and isn’t as shocking or outrageous as it should be, abruptly abandoning its legally dramatic thread in a move representative of its more tonal inconsistencies. wide. Yet Hogan hovers above this confusing but helpful tale of revenge.
A mother’s fury is published digitally on demand on 20e June 2022.
Watch the trailer for A mother’s fury here: