Directed by Corinna Faith [Other horror films: N/A]
I went into this British movie pretty blind, fingers, of course, crossed that it’d be decent. As it is, The Power is an okay film, but given the themes they were working with, not to mention the pretty solid production quality the movie had, I personally sort of hoped it would have made a bit more of an impression.
From the first five, perhaps ten, minutes of the movie, it’s not too difficult to see where the movie’s going. It throws in a few turns here and there, such as potential possession and other supernatural goodness, but for the most part, I think a lot of people could tell exactly how the movie would play out.
Certainly I did appreciate how the final twenty minutes sort of dealt with the aftermath of the main action, taking place the morning after. Little in that twenty minutes surprised me, and I’m somewhat lukewarm about the finale as it was executed, but I did appreciate it, at the very least.
The central cast were all pretty solid. Rose Williams had some solid sympathy behind her at times and Charlie Carrick (Trench 11), for his short screen-time, had some good charisma. Playing a character you can’t help but hate at first, Diveen Henry had some strong moments. Young actress Shakira Rahman got some time to shine come the final twenty minutes or so, and while she was never the most important performance, I did rather enjoy Gbemisola Ikumelo here.
Also, a lot has to be said for the atmosphere. The movie is set in 1974, during the power blackouts in the United Kingdom, giving the film a good reason to drench characters in almost utter darkness, with only weak lanterns to help light their ways. The Power knows what it’s doing with the cinematography, and it looked nice throughout. On the surface, the movie might seem a bit light insofar as the plot is concerned, but it definitely had some strong elements.
Most of my personal pet-peeves comes from the story, specifically the more supernatural elements (if they were indeed supernatural elements – a case could be made that much of what seemed supernatural would have a natural explanation). A lot of this happens in the middle portion of the film (after the first third of the film gets going after a slow crawl), and it had a character blacking out multiple times, and dreams/visions/confusing images were the masters of creation. The story itself wasn’t bad, but I would have preferred a cleaner execution.
And again, I feel like the finale had a problem here and there also. I largely enjoyed it – especially since it gave Diveen Henry’s character a strong scene – but elements just didn’t sit well with me, and seemed largely open to interpretation, something I don’t think the film really had to do.
Thematically, I think it’s easy early on to tell where the movie is going, and I certainly think they hit hard on what they were aiming for. Elements could have been more clear-cut, to be sure, but the themes aren’t in any question once the credits start rolling, and I rather dug both what this moving was tackling, along with the double meaning of the title.
Even so, I found The Power ultimately serviceable. As strong as some characters and scenes were, I don’t think the movie ever quite felt great at any point in time. I don’t think it’s a bad movie, of course, but I did find it a little bit below average. It looked nice, and it might have some things going for it upon a future rewatch, but for now, it just wasn’t stellar.