Review by Joseph Tucker
“Return to Sender” is supposed to be set up for a home run but instead the show strikes out. The plot is weak and the story changes tone at every turn which leads to less than admirable characters. Reminiscent of a TV movie, this film is a heartbreaking letdown.
Rosamund Pike starts out strong in her role as Miranda Wells, a nurse but the character just isn’t believable near the end. The character is well established as a beacon of light and without warning seems to flip flop into a naive and mentally unstable woman throughout the movie, causing heavy confusion. Hoping to see a glimpse of the strong actor that made “Gone Girl,” I instead saw the weak acting of someone who didn’t seem to be all that interested in doing anything. Pike could have been the star of a show about an issue-driven drama that really opens up the conversation on what happens both emotionally and physically to a woman after she is assaulted but all that is overshadowed by the seemingly forced ending.
A high bar had also been set for Nick Nolte as he has played in top tier shows such as “Warrior” and “The Thin Red Line.” Sadly, he too did not show his best and provided a weak attempt at a father figure although he did give the film some emotional backbone but that is about it. It was a letdown from a man who has been a strong actor throughout the years.
Shiloh Fernandez is incredible in his role as William Finn. He portrays the greasy and sleazy rapist just as one would imagine he should be. Although the character is portrayed as emotionally unstable, the character still flips around a lot, seeming to be sincere yet sadistically ugly at the same time. While Fernandez does his best, the character just isn’t all that believable.
In the end, the movie is a miss on the topic it was trying to convey. If it had been more focused on the social issues of the situation and less on the revenge, “Return to Sender” could have been something that every actor involved with could have added to their resume. Instead, it seems as though this film will be swept under the rug.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD now
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