A PURE FORMALITY is a gripping murder mystery with an unexpected twist, compelling from start to finish. While it is very well made and the performances are exceptional, the nature of the material is so dark and void of truth that it is hard for a discerning viewer to find meaning that is worth the depressing journey to the story's conclusion.
A PURE FORMALITY is a gripping and compelling film from start to finish. The atmosphere is sickeningly morbid and rather surreal as rain pours outside and leaks everywhere inside. Lightening flashes, and phone lines go down. Power is cut off, nothing can be seen out the windows and no one seems to sleep at all. The violence is graphic and disturbing. The mood and atmosphere are thoroughly macabre. In a riveting and haunting psychological probe, an acclaimed writer is questioned by a police investigator as to his possible involvement in a murder. The resulting discourse is a study of great success and great loss, of deep despair and of a potential murder that might have been avoided had tragedy been averted. It is a study of deception — of others, and of oneself. And, it is a murder mystery in which nothing is as it seems.
There is significant and disturbing violence in the film. This, paired with the dark and most definitely adult nature of the content, should really push the PG-13 rating to an R. Alcoholism is a theme, as is a destructive nature that has brought great pain to the subject as well as to those people he has loved. While it is very well made and the performances are exceptional, the nature of the material is so dark and void of truth that it is hard for a discerning viewer to find meaning that is worth the depressing journey to the story’s conclusion
(FR, H, LL, VVV, S, N, A, AB, NA, M) Other religion worldview including some existentialist elements; 7 obscenities, 1 profanity, some vulgar language, & 1 blasphemy belittling God; Violent fight, a bloodstained piece of shirt is eaten, a man jumps out of a second story window & falls when his foot is caught in an animal trap, a man is hit over the head with a glass, a man's head is bashed violently on a desk several times causing bleeding, a violent shot is fired at the film's opening, several flashbacks of a shot being fired & of a man gripping a woman's arms in a struggle, & suicide graphically depicted; alcohol abuse; partial male nudity (naturalistic); and, several references to smoking.