The Messenger online movie review - Melancholy of a medium
The Messenger is a strange one, it may disappoint audience who want horror or thriller flick since this is exclusively a psychological drama.
The entirety of the movie revolves around Jack, a psychic, as he tries to live his daily life being haunted by spirits of the dead. While the concept is not novel and the ride can be exhausting, it does present a few good perspectives on the mental agony he must go through.
There's a lot of wandering involved as Jack (Robert Sheehan) either runs away from his plague or searching for odd ways to find peace, both of which usually end up poorly. The cinematography works well to set the mood, often using dark palette almost like a cloud hovering around the main character. It gives plenty of fine landscape or urban shots, although these might get old towards latter half.
Robert Sheehan is good on the lead character, he may not warm up quickly since his depression can be discouraging. Often misunderstood, his good will doesn't always reward him with accolade, after all people hearing voices and talking randomly is utterly bizarre. His character can be sympathetic yet it's the nagging feeling that he's not all there which gives depth to his performance.
The movie cleverly portrays him as a man with supernatural gift or simply a mental trouble. Other characters such as his sister or the psychiatrist enhance the relationship even more by showcasing Jack's gradually deteriorating life. This is certainly not a movie that relies on scare or shock, it's a long psychological trudge, The problem with this set-up is the arduous atmosphere surrounding Jack. There's barely any five minutes where he's not yelling or nearly breaking down. This can get tiresome, the constant conflict can produce drama, and it does for a couple of instances, but it's also very heavy and might just deter some audience.
While the drama aspect can be peculiarly engaging at times, The Messenger's overly solemn tone might not relate well to viewer expecting more thrill or excitement.