After being unfairly treated by the locals of her small village, Monica finds help in the form of a muscly stranger in the independent feature film My Saviour.
Monica (Bayley Freer) hasn’t had the best of luck recently. A single mother of one, her husband had an affair and left her, her abusive father would rather call her a slut and slap her than show any affection and she is being ostracised by the locals. So, she can only feel a sense of gratitude when a mysterious (and rather large) man called Michael (Steven Murphy) walks into town and makes it his mission to hurt those who have wronged Monica.
To be honest, once the film got started, I thought My Saviour was going to be a British urban version of the cliched tales from westerns. You know the ones…a bad sheriff unfairly ruling his town with an iron fist, then Clint Eastwood or John Wayne rides into town and cleans the place up. I would have been happy with that, but Steven Murphy, who is also the writer and director, decides to change it up and make Michael an even more evil and nuanced character than the ones he is saving Monica from., which was a surprising and welcomed twist to the old tale.
I found the story and the performances from both Freer and Murphy to be interesting. Freer does well as the damaged Monica, searching for her own self-esteem and happiness. Murphy, whilst possibly not having the same skills as freer in the acting department, certainly has screen presence and also does well in flicking from a supposed gentle giant to a vicious bully.
The movie, as a whole, is shot really well, especially during the mixed martial arts fights. These scenes are lit well with good use of haze, merged with some decent choreography (though some punches looked like windmills) and a crowd baying for blood and violence.
My Saviour sort of reminded me a little of a Shane Meadows’ film. Gritty and British, with a healthy dose of bleakness and attitude. Like many Meadows’ films, My Saviour also suffers from some mixed performances – some great, some not-so-great, but it still makes for an interesting watch.
It’s never easy to make a full feature film, even those who have substantial budgets, but to make one that doesn’t follow trends, that pushes boundaries and even attempts to surprise, well they should be commended. My Saviour is one such film.