Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Oath (2018)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: The Oath (2018)
Genre: Comedy, Thriller
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Aperture Media Productions, QC Entertainment, Topic Studios, Roadside Attractions, Sony Pictures Worldwide
Director: Ike Barinholtz
Writer: Ike Barinholtz
Actors: Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, Nora Dunn, Chris Ellis, Jon Barinholtz, Meredith Hagner, Carrie Brownstein, Jay Duplass, Billy Magnussen, John Cho, Priah Ferguson, Henry Kaufman, Max Greenfield, Jon Lovett

Blurb from IMDb: In a politically divided America, a man struggles to make it through the Thanksgiving holiday without destroying his family.

Selina’s Point of View:
I have no idea how I feel about The Oath.

As expected, it was wildly political. That said, it wasn’t so much about which side the film itself was on. Instead, the movie kind of explores the dangers of politics as a dividing factor. 

In general, I agree. Politics can divide an entire population. People get very strong opinions on certain subjects and it can lead to a ‘my way or the highway’ kind of thinking. It’s the state of the world at the moment and The Oath takes that idea, amps it to the extreme, and shines a light on it.

I have no problem with that. My problem is that I don’t know if I enjoyed it or not.

There are parts of the film that feel disturbingly realistic. It feels like events that, in a situation like the one portrayed, could actually happen. Those parts are terrifying. You see the growing obsessions, the conspiracy theories, and confrontations of people that shouldn’t be acceptable but have come to be the norm. It’s relatable enough to cause a tightness in the chest.

Then that same relatability delves into funnier aspects. There’s the nitpicking at a spouses wording. There’s the mom that acts like a walking obituary and the dad that kind of zones into the game. The siblings that love each other but can never agree on anything. It’s just a typical family and, a lot of the time, that dynamic can be easy to laugh with.

That’s where it also starts getting uncomfortable.

We’ve all been there. We’ve been invited to someone’s house for dinner. We sit down to eat, everything’s fine, then someone brings up that one hot button issue and everyone explodes. People are screaming across the table, cursing at each other, bringing up sensitive issues, and we’re left sitting there trying to eat and pretending we’ve suddenly gone deaf.

It’s not a good feeling to be in that situation. It’s incredibly awkward… which is where the majority of this film leaves the audience. As a highly uncomfortable fly on the wall.

I came away from The Oath kind of agreeing with the message, but also never wanting to see it again. Take that as you will.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 40%
Metascore – 58/100
Metacritic User Score – 4.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.4/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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