Directed by Greg Olliver
Devoured is the movie equivalent of a nasty curveball. For those who aren’t keen on the sports reference, it’s a movie that has you completely thinking one way; then, just at the last minute, the bottom drops out on you and you realize you’ve been looking at something completely different the entire time. A nasty curveball.
Devoured is the story of a woman named Lourdes who has come to New York City in hopes of earning enough money to send home so her son can have an operation to save his life. We see Lourdes working at a local bar/restaurant, toiling night and day and squirreling away what little money she can. Then we see her doing some less than enviable things for money that show us just how desperate her situation has become. Working in a somewhat hostile environment, away from home and basically friendless, Lourdes is struggling to keep it together.
And that’s all we can say. To elaborate any more on Devoured would be to tread too closely to revealing the twists and secrets that make the movie quite enjoyable. Upon first viewing, you may find yourself wondering when the action is going to begin, wondering how much of Lourdes’ tedious day-to-day life are we going to have to endure before the action starts. But as the final credits roll, you’ll realize you’ve been watching the action all along. Devoured is a movie that screams to be re-watched as you’ll be dying to see just what clues director Greg Olliver left for us along the way.
To say the last 15 minutes of the movie is an explosive turn of events is an understatement. You completely forget that Devoured had loped along at a somewhat leisurely pace for the first 45 minutes and will be absolutely engrossed in the conclusion of the movie, which actually comes full circle to finish where it began. We see the conclusion in the first scene of the movie. The rest of the time is spent getting us to that point and showing us what led up to the tragedy we witness in the opening moments.
The movie relies on the performance of Marta Milans in the role of Lourdes, as she appears in just about every scene in the film. She brings Lourdes to life in a convincing way and really shows her stuff during the climax when the entire truth is revealed. Also, a nod must be given to stunt performer Stephanie Flores, who performed one of the most amazing falls I’ve ever seen. Absolutely incredible.
Devoured is a slow burner. You’ve got to have patience with it, but you will be rewarded with a pretty fantastic ending that you won’t see coming. Writer Marc Landau put together a unique tale that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before, and Olliver takes a very small cast and brings the story to life. And Milans absolutely carries the picture. Overall, it’s an entertaining film that’ll impress you. Have patience; it’s worth the wait.
3 1/2 out of 5