The Man With the Vengeful Heart
Directed by Michael Cuesta
Starring Josh Lucas, Lena Headey, Brian Cox, Dallas Roberts, Pablo Schreiber, Beatrice Miller, Ulrich Thomsen
A dark, brutal, and wickedly fun little indie thriller inspired by an Edgar Allan Poe story. Tell-Tale is a dark delight and has a fun and inventive premise. This film follows a man named Terry Bernard who recently had a heart transplant and discovers that his heart belonged to a man who suffered a brutal fate at the hands of a group of mysterious men. As Terry journeys out to find these men he discovers that his heart is driving him to take revenge on those who murdered it's original owner, and the reason for the man's sadistic murder is uncovered. Terry is aided by a detective who desperately wants justice for reason of his own.
The story of Tell-Tale is brought to life by the talented actors involved. Josh Lucas is the ultimate leading man. He has what it takes to completely carry a film and make you interested in everything that is happening. I find him to be a very captivating actor who is highly underrated. Lena Headey portrays a doctor named Elizabeth who treats Terry's ill daughter. As the film progresses, both Terry and Elizabeth become romantically involved but their relationship is complicated by Terry's unusually violent crisis. Brian Cox is the detective aiding Terry. Brian is one of the greatest actor ever to grace the screen with his presence and he delivers a superb performance here. His character is the most interesting and captivating of the film. Beatrice Miller is an adorable little actress who portrays Terry's daughter, Angela. Angela has an extremely rare genetic disorder that has left her unable to move certain parts of her body. Her character deserves a lot of sympathy because she is such a sweet and innocence little girl suffering from a brutal and ruthless disease. Dallas Roberts, who is an awesome performer with incredible range, makes a wicked appearance towards the end of the film as one of the villains. Roberts is one of my favorite actors and he gives a spectacular performance in the short amount of time he is on screen. Pablo Schreiber makes an enjoyable appearance here as well as another villain.
Tell-Tale is a simple film but it's made extremely well and even though it's not filled with complexity, it is made into a masterpiece by the cast and crew involved. I never found a dull moment anywhere in this film and I loved it's indie look and feel. This is a true independent film with a dark and imaginative story that is a lot of fun to watch unfold. I would call this a morality tale but I think it's more suitable to call it a morality fable since the story is slightly fantastical. I have heard people label this film as a B-Movie but I think it's much too well made and clever to fall in such a category. Tell-Tale is not cheesy or corny in any way, it's a serious thriller that is both fun and twisted. I love these independent low-budget flicks that you have to really search for in order to find, and believe me this film is worth searching for.
Overall, Tell-Tale is a brilliant little gem with great acting, a clever premise, stylish directing, and a dark and brooding mood that emphasizes the films nefarious story. This film is completely engaging and I love every minute of it. A little indie classic...