Greed and desperation drive the characters in 2017’s drama thriller “Numb”. The added element of dire straits for the protagonists in the aftermath of the financial crisis also adds a nice, contemporary dilemma.
Too many coincidences can falter the validity of a story but nevertheless I was still intrigued. Jamie Bamber’s performance as the straight laced, moral Will is strong enough to help maintain the themes that the film draws on; namely, how far will desperation push a person? He tries to stand strong and do the right thing but the forces of fate push him to search for that gold.
Similarly, Aleks Paunovic gives a compelling performance as the recently released criminal Lee who seems to be born again after his prison stint, often spouting mantras about destiny. Paunovic plays him with the right amount of warmth and compassion that he doesn’t just become a archetype villain or criminal but a human character. The two female roles, unfortunately, are less developed and less interesting, but Marie Avgeropoulos and Stefanie von Pfetten do their best with the material they have.
The film seemed to be going for a meditation on greed and almost reminded me of an updated, millennial version of “The Treasure of The Sierra Madre”. It surprised me, then, how flat and rushed the conclusion felt. Instead of taking their time considering the themes that they had considered, the filmmakers seemed to go for a tense, thriller ending. There is nothing predominantly wrong with thrillers, but when a drama has so much potential, it is disappointing to see it be squandered in the final act. Despite the lukewarm finale, the film is still worth a watch if you enjoy adequate thrillers, supporting Canadian independent cinema or watching people slowly get frostbite over a ninety minute running time.
Written by Josh Lambie – Student Pages Student Writer