This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
alice’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
this was an interesting watch, gathering the fact that for three times i was unsure where this would lead to and leaving me a bit skeptical on whether or not i'd enjoy this — but for those three times, it surprised me.
the first part that surprised me was the question (albeit given it's in the synopsis, one would understand it would be the central point of the movie, but i like to go in as blindly as possible and didn't think much of it). up until then, i thought it would be like 12 angry men, but without a pivotal point, just a flow of conversation tackling different subjects of morality, which... is not unsatisfactory, just something i most likely wouldn't enjoy as much as i did with the introduction of this element
the second was the arrest. before this i was starting to think the rest of the movie would be just the different reactions and influences of each character's lives due to the question. and not that that would be bad per se, but i thought the way it was explored was already good for its runtime and i was afraid if it last the rest of the movie with that pacing, it would eventually bore me. the arrest took away this feeling
the third was the climax — the choice. by then, i was realizing they would probably either be executed or left to live with the fear of being imprisoned again, but i knew there had to be a twist somehow. and i was hoping, as it eventually turned out to be, something that would make them choose, and show themselves once again haunted by the moral question made on the first act, and i was happy it proved itself to be the latter
my only problem with this climax is that it could've been a bit more... climatic. it had a good final twist, that the one who made the question that disturbed and obsessed the others would at the end be the only one accepting the conflicting immoral offer, but it still didn't get me that emotional impact i hoped it would have.
this would be the time each character would show their true colors, dealing with a life-threatening, very real and impending choice, but i just didn't feel that it showed how each character differed from each other with their conflicting and contrasting personalities — whether or not they accepted, it would also be the way they made their choice that mattered. if i saw/read that scene without knowing which character was which, i probably wouldn't be able to guess who delivered which line or behaved each way (except for the watchmaker, whose choice was an important plot point and twist) whether or not that means it was done on purpose to reflect natural responses or unpredictable behavior, i just wish it could've taken more time to show each reaction and thinking process
although it did do that, i felt like it could've been done in an even more emotional approach — in a weird way, given the performances, everything felt a bit robotic, not sure if it was due to how it was filmed and edited, but it felt slightly off like it had to be filmed in a day. would've loved if this part had a bigger focus and dynamic and took its time to shine, but felt similar to the rest of the movie, including the pacing and composition — but i guess that's more of a personal preference and not a direct problem with the movie itself