Coming to theatres from director Jeremiah Birnbaum and Fog City Pictures comes the tale of two families’ that have been TORN.
This film tells the story of a bomb that explodes in a shopping center killing many people. Two families have each lost their sons. First is single Mom Lea (Dendrie Taylor) who is raising her son Eddie. Devastated by the news all she wants is answers as to who would want to do such a thing.
The other family is the Munsif’s with Mom Maryam (Mahnoor Baloch), Dad Ali (Faran Tahir) and their son Walter (Sagar Parekh). Immediately questions begin as Ali’s past and photographs of Walter as a mosque surface.
As the investigation moves slowly, Lea and Maryam become friends and grieve their sons together. Once the announcement of Walter as a suspect Lea confronts her friend and their relationship is fractured.
As Maryam and Ali suffer the community’s wrath of prejudice and hate, the investigation turns as Lea’s son comes under the microscope. Now it is Maryam who is angry that Lea’s son could be Walter’s killer.
Sometimes things are not what they seem but it’s hard to get through hate!
FINAL WORD: Taylor as Lea is a woman riding on the edge of sadness and a bit of insanity. Who wouldn’t? Trying to understand why her son is dead and what to do next overwhelms her. Taylor has the look of how a mother such as this would appear. From moments of blankness to anger to acceptance the best way she can.
Baloch as Maryam is such a strong character. A woman who knows her nationality is the first thing people will see yet plays it down when she can. Her son means everything to her as well but when family secrets surface it makes finding answers much more difficult.
Tahir as Ali is a man who clearly loves his family, loves them enough to try and make everyone happy – everyone except himself. With the death of Walter he begins to question why he is in the United States and is it worth staying. Tahir plays this powerful husband and father with faults that he must live with.
Other cast include: Sharon Washington as Agent Reese, Patrick St. Esprit as Charles, Jeffrey Weissman as Mr. Angr, Karen Kahn as District Attorney, Shruti Tewari as Nausheen and John Heard as Detective Kalkowitz.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give TORN three and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. What a powerful story to be told and done in such an unexpected way. Of course the story can go either way and it will cause audiences to take a moment to think the next time an issue such as this presents itself. The tragedy that seems so familiar these days is wrapped in a story of pain and a longing to forgive.
With the focus on these two families I can forgive a few glitches here and there. The performances by Taylor and Baloch kept my attention and more importantly, my emotion. Anyone who has children will find themselves taken in by the performances because it is very close to what we would say, think, feel and react to.
Take a moment to explore this film and catch yourself trying to decide who is right, who is wrong and what you would do.
In the end – fear can blind everything!
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