Nine Nights (2021)

A young woman and her mother cope with their loved one’s death in different ways in this emotional British drama.

Marcie and Michael Haines are 17-year-old twins who thrive on running and are virtually inseparable. Both have excelled in running and have been readying for a major race. Michael slowly begins to show how much of a man he is by going out and dating much to Marcie’s chagrin. On the day of the race, Marcie receives the terrible news. Michael was involved in a car accident and has lost his life. Shocked by the news, Marcie doesn’t accept the news and is convinced he is still alive.

When the family decides to hold a Nine Night ceremony for Michael, Marcie still refuses to believe Michael is dead. As the family prepares for the funeral, Marcie finds herself seeing Michael alive. Meanwhile, the twins’ mother Leonore, is steadily breaking down as she has always felt that the twins never included her in their plans and have disrespected her. Eventually, both Marcie and Leonore will have to come to grips with reality to get through to this day.

Written and directed by Veronica McKenzie, this is a very tense and emotional drama about two females who cope with the only man in their lives no longer being there. What’s even more great is the type of coping mechanisms these two deal with, in terms of loss. One finds herself convinced that the one in question is still alive while the other lets out her past aggression to the point it gets too overwhelming.

Mary Nyambura and Jo Martin are excellent in their roles of Marcie and Leonore, the twin sister and mother of the departed Michael, played by Malcolm Atobrah. While it may seem like the twins are close, we can see that Michael does in fact, want to break out on his own. At first, it seems like Marcie is completely convinced that he isn’t dead all because of a Corsican Brothers-like feel. And it gets to a point where everyone around her thinks she’s completely paranoid. What’s even the more interesting is that when we see Michael post-accident, it is a surreal and dark place disguised as a nightclub where Michael must convince Marcie that she has to let him go.

As for Leonore, she completely goes off the deep end and it eventually threatens her relationship not only with Marcie, but even her friendship with best friend Sylvie, who struggles with Leonore’s actions and behavior until it finally comes to a breaking point. The title refers to a Caribbean-style funeral ritual that lasts as the title indicates, nine nights, for the mourners to finally let go of their loved ones.

Nine Nights is a very tense and emotional drama about learning to let go when a loved one passes. Some very driven performances from the cast makes this a film worth watching.

WFG RATING: B+

Random Media presents a Reel Brit Productions film. Director: Veronica McKenzie. Producers: Lorna Holder and Bunshri Chandaria. Writer: Veronica McKenzie. Cinematography: Rick Stanton. Editing: Liz Webber.

Cast: Mary Nyambura, Jo Martin, Michael Atobrah, T’Nia Miller, Elizabeth Brace, Trevor A. Toussaint, Mark Redguard, Premila Puri, Rizwan Shebani.

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