Review: Retribution Day (online)

In advance of its appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe, this film version of Retribution Day, described to me by its creators as “a marmite piece” is a taut but puzzling tale of revenge.

A lawyer sits in a strong room. They have a tale to tell, a grudge to settle, a slight to revenge. Malcolm Jeffries and Julie Martis perform in this psychological thriller in which what seems initially basic and commonplace becomes a complex web of deceit and game-playing.

In just half an hour, we listen to a story told in fragmentary form. We are unsure what to believe and feel a little unsettled with the testimony we are hearing.

Screencaps from Retribution Day

Directed by Andrew Bruce-Lockhart, the mood is claustrophobic and the narrative unreliable. The palette is greys and browns – businesslike, methodical.

This may appeal to those who like their drama (or dramedy) to be twisted or a little infuriating. I found Martis a slightly stronger force in her scenes but it is interesting to watch from a dual perspective of plotting.

What is revenge? How do relationships progress from online dating to everyday reality? And in this complex age of ghosting, catfishing and social media anonymity, do we really know who anyone is?

To see Retribution Day (written by AG Anderson) live on stage, book through Edinburgh Fringe.

My thanks to Andy at SendCake Films for inviting me to review the digital version.

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