Despite the subject matter, it’s curiously uninvolving  

When The Fold begins, you learn that a teenage girl has drowned.  The story then skips ahead 11 months and you then learn that the dead girl’s mother, Rebecca, is an Anglican priest and the family has moved to the countryside.  However, it’s odd that Rebecca would be a priest and move to a new parish to serve considering that she isn’t much good to others.  This is because she is very screwed up and will not allow herself to get past her daughter’s death.  She is clearly stuck—stuck in her marriage and stuck finding something productive with her life.

A bit later, this clueless priest does some community volunteer work, although this isn’t her choice—she’s more forced into it.  However, working with these high-risk teens suddenly becomes important to her because the psychologically damaged Rebecca has taken a very volatile migrant worker, Radka, under her wing.  But Rebecca is a mess—and instead of offering help or being professional, she begins to dream of Radka taking the place of the dead daughter.

The Fold
Directed by
John Jencks
Cast
Catherine McCormack, Marina Stoimenova, Dakota Blue Richards
Release Date
2014
Martin’s Grade: C-

There are some serious problems with this—most notably that Rebecca already has another daughter—a daughter she is neglecting and who needs her.  She also ignores lots and lots of warning signs that Radka is a screwball herself.  Radka is VERY explosive, manipulative and often attempts suicide—possibly to manipulate others or because she is a serious danger to herself.  In psychological terms, she shows a lot of Borderline Personality traits and really needs professional help, not a well-meaning but completely inept priest.  Where does all this lead?  See the film if you are interested.

Note that I said ‘if you are interested.’ This might be a problem because despite the subject matter, the film was curiously uninvolving and I had a hard time sticking with this one.  I think much of it is because Rebecca was one of the more pathetic priests and mothers I’ve seen in a film and her cluelessness seemed bizarre for someone whose job is helping others—especially because she is so unprofessional.

It makes you think she became a priest by correspondence school—not by being an ordained member of the clergy. Making Rebecca a little less clueless and Radka a little less obviously dangerous would have made for a more believable film.  As a result, the plot seemed mildly interesting but flawed.  As for the acting and film making, it was pretty good but very, very low energy. Not a bad film overall but one that just left me awfully cold and unsatisfied.  Additionally, when the film ended, there were many, many unanswered questions—too many.

Review by Lead Entertainment Writer & Film Critic, Martin Hafer