Reviews | Written by Ben Bradley 29/07/2021

THE OFFERING

Obsession and passion are the key ingredients in this Spanish offering from Ventura Durall.

Psychiatrist Violetta (Anna Alarcón) is visited by Rita (Verónica Echegui) with an ulterior motive. Her boyfriend, Jan (Alex Brendemühl), is obsessed with another woman, and that person is Violetta. Jan is an old lover of Violetta, whose leaving devastated her. Reluctantly, she agrees to meet Jan, but in doing so puts both her and Rita’s relationships in jeopardy.

The Offering is an intriguing film. We’re shown Violetta and Jan’s passionate life together when they were younger, and it’s clear that despite her reputable career, she’s reliant on pills to keep her going, unbeknownst to her husband, Nico (Pablo Molinero). Jan has created a company that allows people to record thoughts and messages for their loved ones to read/see after they die, noting that people rarely have the courage to say and face such things when they are alive. It’s this interesting Black Mirror-esque plot device that leads us into a story that is in no rush to unwind for us. It’s not terribly hard to guess where things are leading in the final act, but it’s definitely an emotional ride getting there.

Alex García’s camerawork swings from intrusively voyeuristic to painfully complicit as we navigate the emotions (or lack of in Violetta’s case) and the thoughts of whether it’s right to unburden before or after one's death. Is the bearing of the soul to be at peace just another trauma to add to the bereaved? The Offering will leave you with more questions than answers but is nevertheless an engaging reflection on love and obsession.

The Offering is in selected cinemas and on digital on July 30th