What would you do if you knew the next 15 minutes didn't count?
It's an intriguing question.
Would you lie? Cheat? Steal? Murder? Rape?
What would you do?
this is the intriguing concept behind first-time writer/director Fritz Green's "Every Hidden Thing," the story of Jeremy (Rob Boyd), a man who suddenly starts to experience 15 minute increments of time in which he's able to do anything he wants undetected because once those 15 minutes are gone they disappear forever.
What begins as more a journey of curiosity quickly spirals downward and out of control as Jeremy learns that even his hidden actions carry consequences and his life quickly dissolves into chaos as his wife Brandi (Victoria Esher) struggles to deal with who he's become and his marriage, work, friendships and emotional well-being soon become threatened.
Green began envisioning "Every Hidden Thing" one day when he was pondering the depravity of humanity.
Isn't that something we all do these days?
We read about parents killing their families and we wonder to ourselves "What's happening to this world?"
When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot up Columbine High School nearly everyone questioned whether or not school would be a safe place again.
Children kill parents. Parents kill children.
Teachers sleep with students.
It's hard not to ponder "What if?"
What divides us into the two camps...Those who will act on those hidden desires and impulses and, whether it be because of faith or values or fear, those function with seeming normalcy.
What would we do if we could have 15 minutes where our actions seemingly didn't matter?
"Every Hidden Thing" is a film about faith, forgiveness, temptation, sin, God and, perhaps most of all, humanity's struggle to make sense of it all.
While "Every Hidden Thing" doesn't quite gel cinematically, it seems no fault of Green's insightful and imaginative script that takes this essentially faith-based film a place that many faith-based films don't have the guts to go...into the darkest corners of the human heart.
After all, we do wonder...don't we?
When Catholicism is wracked by a horrid sexual abuse scandal, how can we not wonder about the darkness of the faith-based heart?
When virtually every denomination has become tainted by scandals of a sexual or physical or financial nature, how can one not wonder?
When those who preach against something are discovered guilty of that very action, do we not wonder?
Indeed, the strength of Green's film lies in his willingness to pose the questions and confront the issues that haunt contemporary Christianity.
While Green's script is quite powerful and helped the film garner major awards at the Script-2-Screen Festival, the film itself falls victim to its modest budget and Green's ambition in bringing such a complex story to film.
While Rob Boyd and Victoria Esher do a nice job in the leading roles, there's no denying that "Every Hidden Thing" never quite escapes the feeling of being a low-budget indie flick. Beyond Boyd and Esher, the supporting performances are largely hit-and-miss with Susan Burris and Michael Bush also offering strong performances.
Along with the film's insightful script, "Every Hidden Thing" benefits from a stellar soundtrack featuring the likes of Arlis Moon, Ann-Janette, Consumed by Fire and Weeping Prophetic. Green uses his music wisely, heightening scenes that occasionally feel a tad stilted.
Flawed, yet undeniably interesting and involving, "Every Hidden Thing" is a solid first effort from writer/director Fritz Green with particular promise shown as a screenwriter able to develop inviting characters, intriguing storylines and conflicts that are borne out of natural occurrences rather than manufactured drama.
For more information on "Every Hidden Thing," visit the film's website.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic