• Theo

Strange But True - Film Review

A girl stops by her ex-boyfriend's house five years after his death, claiming to be carrying his child... How would you react?

The film starts exactly like that. A heavily pregnant girl (Melissa) goes round to her ex-boyfriend's house to tell his mother that she is pregnant with his child. But this is five years after his death. This girl went to see a psychic who told her that it was her ex-boyfriend's (Ronnie). Ronnie's mother loses it (understandably so) but his brother (Philip) seems to question things.

Philip comes up with an explanation that perhaps Ronnie's sperm was frozen and then she impregnated herself. The mother starts doing research to see whether or not this would be possible and it turns out there are different ways it is as well as accounts of it happening.

Melissa is living with an elderly couple during this time. When the mother goes to see her, it turns out Ronnie's father (her ex-husband as he ended up getting a new girlfriend after Ronnie's death) has been paying for her rent. That leads to a lot more questions as to why he is supporting her.

I don't want to give away too many spoilers as then it makes the film pointless to watch. I watched the film on NOW TV where it seemed to have generally favourable reviews but then looking on IMDB, it was only rated a 5.8 (at the time).

It's understandable to see how it could be perceived a bad thriller. The title is a bit misleading. The start of the film I really liked as it got straight into it and the dialogue was perfect, making all the relationships and feelings clear from the get-go.

The film's pace is a little on the slow side. The mother is a bit too dislikeable. That for me was the most frustrating part. I could see what the writer had tried to do. A grieving mother. You build up a lot of resentment. Take it out on the wrong people. The thing was, I had to continually rationalise with myself that the way she was acting would make sense, but actually, she just comes across unnecessarily mean. She doesn't care about her remaining son (always thinking of Ronnie), she shut out her husband and hates him for moving on. As for Melissa, she blames her for Ronnie's death and doesn't want to see her happy even though she lost the love of her life. She's not likable and that's a shame as we should be able to sympathise with her.

Philip is a nice character but there isn't a lot there. Nick Robinson is a great actor but there isn't enough development of the brotherly bond or why he believes Melissa. We find out a bit about their relationship throughout but not enough to feel like they were really close.

The ending is what seemed to upset people the most. A lot of thrillers are considered unrealistic but I consider this as being more on the realistic side. When you get caught doing something bad, you keep trying to cover it up and often do more bad things. It's like telling one lie and then telling many more to keep up with the first one. Real people do stupid things and act in illogical ways. My only problem with the ending is that one action sequence isn't clear to me. Another is a personal dilemma of should Melissa know the truth about her child. I think that's the point though, or at least what I took from it. Some people prefer to be blissfully unaware as knowing the truth won't change what is happening right now.

I think it's worth watching Strange But True providing you can stream it. It's an easy film to watch and not too stressful. Everyone does a good job in their role and I feel like practically every question is answered. It might not be the most memorable but that doesn't make it a bad film.

My Rating - 6.5

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