In Theaters September 16, 2016
Martin Sheen (TV’s “The West Wing,” Apocalypse Now)
Lucas Quintana (Wing it, Death of an Ally)
Jacqueline Duprey (Under Suspicion, Entre Nos)
Aris Mejias (Gabi, “Incógnita”)
When tragedy strikes, your universe can crumble. Everything you know can seem confusing or useless. Darkness takes hold. We search for the smallest meaning to turn our sadness into joy once more. In THE VESSEL, one man is burdened with being the guiding light for a small coastal town, following the sudden death of all its elementary aged children.
Martin Sheen‘s performance as a well-meaning priest is genuine and grounded as always. The Vessel was filmed in both English and Spanish, which is an incredible feat for any American actor. Once again teaming up with Terrence Malick (executive producer), the two would have the opportunity to seemingly readdress a series of meaningful conversations in Paris in 1981 in which Sheen’s Roman Catholic faith was restored. Playing our other leading man, Leo, is Lucas Quintana. His strong but never forceful presence is the perfect companion character for the audience to follow. We are 100% on his intellectual journey throughout. Both Jaqueline Duprey and Aris Mejias, as Leo’s Mother and Soraya respectively, give heart-rending performances as two women whose grief controls their daily lives and sanity.
One thing that must be mentioned is the ethereal score of this film. It is, in itself, an entire character. The music is emotionally entrancing, at moments giving me chills. The Vessel presents a world in which religion and the supernatural collide. A town frozen in time and mourning experiences a miracle that breathes new life into its people. But disappointment leads to anger and hysteria. It’s a visually lovely film in which color plays a huge role. Bravo to director Julio Quintana for assembling a masterful piece of work.
Music, Dancing, Fireworks, Childbirth. In an unnamed coastal town somewhere in Latin America, these are just a few things that vanished from a small fishing village after a massive tidal wave crushed the local elementary school, washing forty-six children out to sea. Father Douglas (Martin Sheen) urges the grief-stricken mothers to have more children, but they refuse, locked in a state of perpetual mourning. Until one night when a local young man slips off the pier and drowns, only to mysteriously waken three hours later. “Could this be a sign from God?” the townspeople wonder.