Retaliation (originally titled Romans) is the upcoming R-rated drama starring Orlando Bloom, and is the sophomore feature from directors The Shammasian Brothers (Ludwig and Paul) and written by Geoff Thompson – the trio previously collaborated on 2015’s The Pyramid Texts. The movie’s taken a long and winding road to a broader release, it first debuted back in 2017 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and has even been released on DVD in Finland and Germany.
Bloom stars as a tormented construction worker who’s demolishing the local church he attended as a child. This brings all the memories of the abuse he suffered there as a child to the surface, making him even more volatile than normal – and this is further exacerbated when the priest responsible returns to oversee the work.
The plot synopsis is as follows:
Thirty-something Malky works as a labourer demolishing the church where he was abused as a twelve-year-old, engaging in an emotionally distant sexual relationship with Emma and indulging in bouts of casual violence. The effects of his childhood abuse remain deeply embedded, and when the priest responsible returns to town Malky is forced to confront his past head-on.
Let’s take a look:
I think this looks like a strong drama, but it’s definitely one you’re going to need to be in the right frame of mind to watch because it’s not going to be pleasant viewing. Bloom is putting in a superb performance as the haunted Malky who inflicts pain on both others and himself as a means of coping, or rather not coping, with his trauma. I also love the rather blunt metaphor of the act of demolishing the church where he himself was broken down.
What do you think?
Retaliation is due for release via digital and on-demand on 24 July. It also stars Janet Montgomery, Charlie Creed-Miles, Anne Reid, Alex Ferns, Josh Myers, and James Smillie.
Last Updated: June 22, 2020