The Pining, directed by Eduardo Castrillo, is a movie whose concept certainly holds promise. Although it is an admittedly familiar idea, the execution is what really matters at the end of the day. Throughout the film, we follow Joe (Diego Hausen), a photographer who also runs a therapy group. After members of the group randomly start dying, a detective named Harris (Jackie Dallas) is forced to reopen a cold case. She only manages to find one lead, that being the therapy group’s leader, Father William (Tom Sizemore).
The story of this film is by far its strongest element. There were some instances in which this mystery was interesting to follow, even though the pacing is a bit off. Some scenes just feel out of place, like a scene in Joe is flirting with Grace (Natalie Gibson), one of the models that he is taking pictures of. Moments like this take you out of the movie for a while because they don’t progress the story along. It felt like one scene would be there to get things going, and then the very next would be a scene that was there and should’ve been removed instead.
“…members of the group randomly start dying, a detective named Harris is forced to reopen a cold case.”
Speaking of Joe and Grace, the chemistry between these two actors did not feel as convincing as it perhaps should have. At least for a little while. The first few scenes in which they interact with one another feel awkward, and their dialogue does not come across as natural or free-flowing. It feels scripted, and it would have been nice if these two were given a chance to improvise off each other or something. It would have improved their chemistry significantly. Gratefully though, by the end of the film, they seemed more comfortable and relaxed in their scenes together, and it was more fun to watch them later on.
But the best performance in this film has to come from Jonez Cain, who portrays Joe’s friend Alison. She is definitely skilled in this field, and her character is one that was surprisingly funny at times. Perhaps there will be a scene where Joe is saying something she views as ridiculous, and she will call him out on it. Her comedic timing was excellent, and I think she should have been used some more. Nonetheless, she still delivered a strong performance here.
"…a commendable effort."