Unthinkable (2020)

Watching a film like Unthinkable, one has to take into account the budgetary limitations in place.  Whilst securing proven talent like Vivica A. Fox and Missi Pyle may suggest otherwise, first-time directors George Loomis and Elias Talbot have utilised their funds to their fullest capacity; the film reportedly budgeted at a minuscule $200,000.

Given a larger scale one could only imagine what they could be capable of as Unthinkable lays the groundwork for a duo of filmmakers who evidently take care in their narrative.  It isn’t always smooth sailing – dialogue, character development and motivation, and certain performances aren’t always uniform – but the film’s flaws certainly shouldn’t outweigh the ambitious nature of its helmers.

A slow burn narrative that adopts the thriller genre trope of coincidental plotting and leaving certain questions unanswered, Unthinkable sets up an intriguing premise nonetheless.  Co-director Loomis’ script is sure of where it wants to culminate – twist ending and all – but has a little trouble in fine-tuning the navigation, which, as is the case with particularly plotted thrillers, isn’t a reflection of the limited resources but a hazard in tackling the genre itself.

As for the twisted story, it centres around the morally sound Jones (Loomis), a medical student who quite often finds it difficult to detach himself emotionally from the patients in his care.  His latest will prove to the the biggest challenge yet as he tends to an injured ambassador (Christopher Cousins) who seems defiant in not communicating and indicating his intent on not wanting to better himself.  Jones becomes far too invested in a quick space of time, and when the patient’s wife (Natalija Nogulich) notes his interest, she takes it upon herself to ingrain him in their lives.  Ties to the Syrian government, an unexpected connection regarding Jones’ deceased father, and shady hospital activity follow suit in a melodramatic, yet still investing manner that suggest Loomis’ outline may have been better suited to a multi-episode series as opposed to a skint 87 minute feature.

Whilst the film’s flaws are evident, Loomis’ ambition and successful execution is worth the praise due to what he has achieved.  Succeeding more so as an announcement to promising filmmakers to what’s possible as opposed to being a must-see production on its entertainment grounds, Unthinkable suggests viable potential for Loomis and Talbot as filmmakers.

Unthinkable is available to watch now internationally through Video on Demand; iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, FandangoNow, Redbox TVOD and Movie Spree.

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