IT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS OF ECHOES OF VIOLENCE!
At 2021 Cinequest, there are a lot of films competing in the narrative feature section, and one of them is the crime thriller Echoes of Violence, written and directed by Nicholas Woods. An immigrant sees herself in big danger after being betrayed by her immigration lawyer Anthony and partners up with a real estate agent called Alex Castillo to seek revenge. Along the way, a man who was set to murder Marakya sides with her and helps her to complete the mission. Echoes of Violence is sadly an ordinary thriller that could be so much more. It has some interesting ideas, and it allows the characters to be instrumental all the way to the end, but ultimately it disappoints by not taking risks. Not shadowing them makes the viewer aware that these are important players and they are crucial so that Marakya succeeds in her demand for justice.
Woods manages to create a Tarantino-inspired film, using chapters to tell a story focused on a young woman who is done with the patriarchy and wants independence from the men who took advantage, manipulated and tortured her. As it goes on, the film actually contextualizes the audience by exploring some of the secondary characters and providing them with a background that sustains their credibility and contribution to the narrative. Unfortunately, the film also starts with a promising idea that this will be a funny, bold and original criminal piece, and fails to deliver some surprises the viewers are eager to watch. Instead, Echoes of Violence opts to be too linear, too simple and too predictable, softening the excitment as it goes along. Although Woods can deliver interesting and believable characters, with some very amusing lines and brave actions, he doesn’t make bold moves to make the audience root for them. Michaella Russell, even with her sweetness pouring out from her eyes, can’t keep up with the pace and isn’t believable enough in some of her most dramatic sequences, making Echoes of Violence lose some of its engagement.
With legendary Frank Oz in a small role (who clearly deserved more screentime so that the viewer would have a bigger perspective in how ruthless his character really is), Echoes of Violence actually manages to reach a certain degree of charisma due to the relaxed performance by Heston Horwin and the character development brilliantly placed in Chase Cargill‘s Kellin, the former assassin turned hero in Marakya’s story. Even if Echoes of Violence tries to be something different from a saturated crime thriller landscape, it doesn’t succeed in adding something fresh to the genre. It seems more worried in trying to be a homage for Quentin Tarantino (and by adopting some of his artistic liberties) than delivering something more substancial to the audience.
While it is an admirable character study, Echoes of Violence fails to provoke the audiences and teases it for a momentum that never quite arrives in an unexpected way. Woods is clearly talented, and needs to keep working to improve his way of telling a story and be more concerned in creating something that audiences would invest their time in following his career. Like the neverending bullets of Kellin’s gun, Woods deserves some appraisal for his bravery, but he needs to keep working to deliver something even more significant than Echoes of Violence.
CineAddiction will have film festival reviews written in English to respect and endorse the festival norms. The Portuguese version will arrive later and will be featured in our social media.
You can read other reviews here.
Title: Echoes of Violence
Original Title: Echoes of Violence
Director: Nicholas Woods
Runtime: 106 min.
Trailer | Echoes of Violence