Can you think of holding your family captive? I am not sure if your psychological process goes in that direction, but I am pretty sure that you would not do this. But here we are going to talk about a movie where you can see it happening. I am talking about, “John and the Hole“.
It is a drama film directed by Pascual Sisto and written by Nicolás Giacobone that was released in 2021. Charlie Shotwell, Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Ehle, and Taissa Farmiga star in Giacobone’s short story El Pozo star in this feature-length version. A little child discovers a hole in his family’s backyard in the film.
What the John And The Hole all about?
John is a shy adolescent who frequently asks strange questions, such as, “Why doesn’t the pool water feel like actual water?” But the awkward part is, his parents (Jennifer Ehle and Michael C. Hall) are unconcerned. Even when he’s being a twerp, his sister (Taissa Farmiga) softly kisses him on the forehead. They’re a prosperous, loving family that live in a nice contemporary home in the woods.
John, on the other hand, is dissatisfied. His tennis qualifications are on their way, and no one seems to mind. A scarcely finished bunker near their home, a cement-clad square hole descending down a couple levels, is ready for a few more residents. Sisto is fascinated by what it means to be an adult, to contemplate mortality, and to ponder life’s laws.
When John places his family in their filthy, underground jail, he realises how twisted his ideas about maturity are. He discovers that money does not cure all problems. That loneliness is sometimes the price of liberty.
Sisto employs a dark comic approach to convey these lessons: The youngster and his Boston-based friend Peter (Ben O’Brien) purposefully drown each other in the pool in order to glimpse the Virgin Mary in one scene.
Other sequences, such as when John approaches his mother’s 50-year-old closest friend Paula (Tamara Hickey), much to her chagrin, have an uneasy verve.
Shotwell’s confident physical acting, though, is the film’s saving grace. His physique is stiff, as though he is unfamiliar with the weight of duty. We’re not meant to want John to succeed.
After all, he did drug his unwitting family and abandon them in a hole with only a flashlight and their pyjamas. However, because of his loneliness, it’s impossible not to feel sorry for him. Shotwell’s calm touch imbues the character with pathos as he portrays a psychopath who takes the most extreme way to gain attention.
The remainder of the cast, however, is underused. Especially since no hard-won facts or secrets are disclosed in that subterranean jail, which is unusual given how long they are imprisoned there. Sisto likewise leaves Lily’s subplot undeveloped, and the film follows John’s pattern of meandering.
The sombre finish, when John knows he can’t make it on his own and his family recognises their role in these events, may leave some unsatisfied. Despite this, Caterina Barbieri’s tense soundtrack, cinematographer Paul Ozgur’s profound focus, and Shotwell’s acting are enough to make “John and the Hole” a psychological pleasure worth experiencing.
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Let’s Know about The Release Date of John And The Hole
The film was selected for the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020. Because to the COVID-19 epidemic, the event was cancelled in its physical form. Pascual Sisto confirmed the film’s postponement to 2021 on a social media platform. The projected releases for Sundance Film Festival 2021 appear on IndieWire’s Sundance Wish List in November 2020. Pascual Sisto is named one of the top ten filmmakers to watch in 2021 by Variety the following month.
On January 29, 2021, the film made its international debut at the Sundance Film Festival. IFC Films released it on August 6, 2021.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, 55 percent of the 56 critic reviews for the film are good, with a 5.7/10 average rating. “John and the Hole’s enticingly original idea and unsettling atmosphere are often at odds with a meandering plot that stops this thriller from achieving its eerie promise,” the website’s reviewers consensus says.  The film has a 61 out of 100 weighted average score on Metacritic, based on 8 critics, indicating “generally good reviews.”
Cast of John And The Hole
- Charlie Shotwell played the role of John
- Jennifer Ehle played the role of Anna
- Michael C. Hall played the role of Brad
- Taissa Farmiga played the role of Laurie
- Ben O’Brien played the role of Peter
- Lucien Spelman played the role of Charlie
- Tamara Hickey played the role of Paula
- Elijah Ungvary played the role of Tennis Coach
- Georgia Lyman played the role of Gloria
- Samantha LeBretton played the role of Lily
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