The living have it easy. The dead go on to Heaven or...well, never mind. Loved ones depart this mortal coil and we are left to deal with guilt, lost love, missed opportunities, and words never said. This is worse when the recently deceased wasn't supposed to go yet. A young one with a future still ahead of him and early stages of love still to grow and shape. If only we had a chance at a last conversation. If only we could have told him (fill in the blank). Nonsense, of course, they aren't coming back...but what if they do? Today we look at 2015's "The Mourning," directed by Marc Clebanoff.
The war! Seemed to make sense at the time. Now, not so much. As the grayness that history delivers us envelopes our perspective, so does our guilt of those lost in conflict. Aaron (Michael Rene Walton) is one such casualty. Killed in Desert Storm. He left a beautiful girlfriend and loving family. In a haunting and unnerving opening...he comes back. Naked and disorientated he finds himself in the woods next to his hometown.
In a fog he goes home...but guess what...its not his home anymore. David (Louis Mandylor), the sheriff is summoned. Uh oh...David is Aaron's brother-in-law. Now the eeriness ramps up. David was in Desert Storm. He was also there when Aaron was killed in combat. Shock and awe! David makes a decision based on his desire to bring back lost opportunity and assuage guilt, at the expense of solid law enforcement investigation.
That's fine. The investigators arrive. A mysterious blonde black-suit (Dominique Swain). She obviously knows a lot more and David seems alarmed at her knowledge. Maybe David does know more...but the facts are what he fears. Aaron is a hit! Still not talking his family and friends are shocked. Andrea (Kinga Phillips), David's wife and Aaron's sister is superb and stunning as a grieving sister viciously pulled out of her lifetime of mourning. Ripped into an unreal act of a macabre stage drama, no one knows what to say or how to act. Aaron appears to be an otherworldly mirror in which David, Kinga, and so many more can examine the genuineness of their love and human motives. Hence guilt and sorrow creep into our characters lives. A chance at redemption? A chance to say good-bye in a proper manner? Wait...good-bye? Why not hello, after all Aaron has returned? A dark pall is moving in and it is apparent Aaron's return may be short-lived.
Kudos to Brooke Lewis Bellas. Her role as a frisky bar hopper helps propel this sentimental and syrupy science fiction drama into a conclusion that will deliver desperation and transformation for David, Andrea, and their loved ones. Where has David been for the past couple of decades? Who or what brought him back...and why? Are forever hidden secrets a bigger threat to us than alien invasion? Oh...that last question...well, you'll see. The mourning we endure after the loss of a loved one is never a perfect endeavor. Still, it is needed and natural. Throw in aliens and men (or women) in black and enjoy "The Mourning."