By Felix Vasquez Jr. | January 18, 2006

“Mercy Seed” is a quasi-philosophical snore fest examining a man whose life of misery has finally brought him over the edge. Tom Noonan plays a farmer who lives a basically lonely life, but when his only assets, his pigs, all die in a car crash, he hitchhikes across the country intent on visiting his boss who proceeds to curse him out after he expects reparations. “Mercy Seed”, for a half hour short film, is utterly boring, and relies on slow pacing intent on mounting tension minute by minute, but really accomplishes nothing after we’ve invested time in to it. Noonan‘s performance is utterly subdued and lacks any sense of depth, or confliction while he loses his truck and attempts to hitch a ride.

He does so through a young girl and they exchange a heaping helping of dialogue that really fails to hold any real resonance other than the obvious symbolism that they’re both lost souls. “Mercy Seed” is rambling starting with the observations of this man, then oddly showing truly graphic sequences of injured pigs lying along the road, and then this man’s intentions with a golf bag he’s carrying with him on his journey. We know well and clear what he’s going to do, but when? It never really comes, and Seck prefers really to examine the journey before the descent in to darkness; however the journey is interrupted by an unusual occurrence in the climax. But the allegories and symbolism is lost on a story that’s neither involving nor fascinating, and “Mercy Seed” is a cold, confusing bit of drama that felt much too similar as a rehash of “Riding the Bullet”.

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