First published in 2011, The Devil All the Time has received much praise from critics. In fact, the novel, which became the debut of American author Donald Ray Pollock, was named the best novel of the year in 2012 by French literary magazine Lire.
Like other best-selling novels, the success of The Devil All the Time has also sparked Hollywood to adapt it into a film. This time, the producer is Jake Gyllenhaal. We can enjoy the results via the Netflik streaming channel starting on Wednesday (16/9).
Like the novel version, the film The Devil All the Time also carries the psychological thriller genre. The story takes place after World War II (1945) and before the Vietnam War (1965). Which takes place in two villages: Coal Creek, West Virginia, and Knockemstiff, Ohio, United States. Which is also the hometown of the author Donald Ray Pollock.
When the project was announced in September 2018, the film The Devil All the Time was said to present an interesting, but at the same time terrible, story. Namely, regarding the battle between justice and evil.
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The main character is an orphan named Arvin Russell (Tom Holland). The one whose childhood was dark. Who has to deal with various evil and mysterious characters. Starting from a perverted young priest, a psychopath husband and wife who become serial killers, to a corrupt police sheriff.
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The film The Devil All the Time presents a non-linear story of the various characters. Who didn't know each other at first, but eventually connected to each other. Through the Arvin character earlier.
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Most of the characters in this film are told to display their darkest side. Although, in truth, these evil actions were based on the intention to uphold justice. So, there are no really good characters in this film. As the title implies: The Devil All the Time.
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In addition to carrying Tom "Spider-Man" Holland as the main character, the film, which was directed by Antonio Campos, also features a multitude of well-known stars as its supporters. Therefore, it's no wonder, The Devil All the Time is one of the Netflix original films most eagerly awaited for release in 2020.
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However, the consequences of the many characters made the plot of this film run slowly. Because it takes time to tell them one by one. If it's too fast, the audience will be confused to understand the relationship between one character and another.
In addition, director Antonio Campos also uses a back and forth plot in telling this film. However, fortunately, the arrangement is pretty neat. So that it can still be followed and understood if we concentrate while watching it.
In addition, the presence of a narrator, whose voice is filled by the author Donald Ray Pollock himself, is also quite helpful for the audience in understanding the purpose of this film. Because in addition to telling the plot, the narrator also explains what each character is thinking.
Like the novel version, in terms of story, the film The Devil All the Time is actually quite interesting. But, unfortunately, that was just now: The 2 hour 18 minute film flow is quite slow and wordy. So that it has the potential to make the audience bored and sleepy.
In addition, as a psychological thriller, the tension element presented by The Devil All the Time is also less pronounced. Like a first kiss that leaves no impression.
In fact, this film, in fact, also features some sadistic scenes that are bloody. However, the taste is still soft. Not to the point of making the audience shudder with horror.
The absence of a jump-scare scene also makes The Devil All the Time less thrilling than other thriller films. The shocking dramatic sound effect is also absent. So that those with heart disease will stay safe while watching it.
However, fortunately, all the shortcomings were slightly covered by Tom Holland's cameos. What in this film can really escape the shadow of Spider-Man. Perhaps, many of his fans were surprised and amazed by this latest appearance.
Even though he still plays the role of an unstable teenager, what Tom Holland shows this time is completely different from the character of Peter Parker. That super generous and innocent. In the film The Devil All the Time, although it has only appeared since the 46th minute, he manages to present serious adult acting. And, in fact, brutal.
Apart from Tom Holland as the main character, the appearance of the supporting actors is equally good. Most notably, Robert Pattinson. Which this time looks very animated the role of an antagonist. A young, hypersexed pastor. Who likes to manipulate young girls to be indehoi with it.
Besides Robert Pattinson earlier, the other supporting actors did not get a large portion. However, even though only a few, they are all able to present pretty slick acting. Among others: Bill Skarsgard and Mia Wasikowska.
In the end, although not very good, with its complex and dark story, the film The Devil All the Time is still a legal obligation to enjoy. Especially, for those who want to see another side of Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson earlier.
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