Put yourself in this mother’s shoes. There she is, waiting for her fresher son’s phone call all night staring at her phone in bed. When the son’s name finally flashes it is an attendant from an ambulance informing her that her beloved son has gone into a coma.
This heartbreaking moment will haunt you forever, as will the mother’s determination to get justice for her son. Siobhan Fallon Hogan as the mother Barbara O’Brien is every grieving parent in the universe rolled into one. She is furious and defeated, determined and anxious to bury her son in peace.
The first 30 minutes of the film are poignant and powerful without resorting to maudlin moments to wean our sympathy. Director Vibeke Muasya knows the situation needs no punctuations…not even a fullstop when the film ends. The story of bereavement after a beloved son is killed during ‘hazing’ (ragging) is so violently tragic, it requires no embellishment.
Stand-up comedian actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan plays the mother with a gut-wrenching grit, rarely allowing the character to resort to tears. Hogan’s determination to get justice for her son is so intense and uni-focussed it just gets us all fired up. The way she takes off in her car with some clothes thrown into a washing basket, with no member of family not even her husband ( the quietly effective Robert Patrick) trying to stop her, shows that this mother means business. Always has.
Sadly after a brilliant start the plot loses the plot, if you know what I mean. Too many repetitive scenes of grieving mothers, too many indifferent politicians, too many deadends. And the narrative’s final act where Barbara confronts her son’s tormentor (Jake Weary) one-to-one is so steeped in vigilantism, it feels like another far less real universe than the one that we saw Barbara occupy before she become a gun-toting Mata Hari. Jai Mata Di!
Nonetheless there is enough in Rushed to make it a far-from-ordinary experience. The mother’s grief, at least initially, was so palpable it hit me like a whiplash.
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