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Drama - No Category

The Forgiven (2021)

Duration1h 57m
RatingsUK: Not released, USA: R, Spain: 16 
Source of storyA 2012 novel of the same name by Lawrence Osborne
DirectorJohn Michael McDonagh
Writers/ScriptJohn Michael McDonagh
StarringJessica Chastain, Matt Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Caleb Landry Jones, Alex Jennings, Said Taghmaoul, 
RatingsIMDb: 5.8/10 by 2110 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 66% bby 100 reviewers. Review2view 7/10.

Elevator Pitch: Louche gay Brit, Richard Galloway, holds a weekend party at his Moroccan mountain castle with his American boyfriend. Old friends are invited including David Henninger and his wife Jo. David is an alcoholic who is drinking heavily during their road trip to the party and as a result runs down a young man who is standing in the road, attempting to sell a fossil. The couple arrive at the party with the body of the young man in the back, and soon the father, a Bedouin chief arrives at the castle to take his son’s body away. He also requires David to go with him to the village to pay his respects. David leaves in the chief’s Land Rover for the desert village. The party goes on, and Jo takes advantage of his absence to kick over the traces.

Content: Some non-revelatory sex. Since the castle has a swimming pool some poolside frolicking. A lot of drinking and snorting of cocaine. David and Jo drive across the desert in the night and the young man is run down. Once David goes off with the chief they drive across what seems like endless desert on rough tracks. When he arrives at the Bedouin village he seems to be constantly under threat. The dead boy is buried. Back at the castle the party goes on and the whole event seems to be forgotten.

A View: We saw this film at the cinema in Madrid, without having any knowledge of the content, and considering the cast list I was surprised it had not been released in UK, and for the same reason not surprising that it has not made any money in America. If anything the characters are just a bit irritating, except for the Arabs who are a bit sinister. But in all of that the scenery is breath-taking, the Atlas Mountains apparently playing themselves. We did find the logistic a bit dodgy, but overall, worth the price of admission.

I categorised this outing as a “Drama-No Category” and was surprised to find that I have similarly categorised a further 25 films. These include: Cheap Thrills (2013), Columbus Circle (2012) and Boxing Day (2012) none of them movies which made any money but nevertheless still worth a watch.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels



  1. Pingback: The Menu (2022) | A MOTION PICTURE LIST - December 12, 2022

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