Based on a 2012 Lawrence Osborne novel that might well have been set (with only small changes) many decades earlier, 'The Forgiven' watches rich Westerners treat Morocco like their playground, scarcely noticing the poverty and disapproval surrounding their opulent parties.
Imperialist-grade entitlement goes only so far in the modern world, though, and when one partner accidentally kills a local teen, some kind of accommodation is going to have to be made. McDonagh has the nerve to make these characters deeply off-putting, if not downright unlikeable, to his audience. These are upper-class, over-educated, under-compassionate gargoyles, the lot of them - self-anointed elitists.
Scripted, directed and acted with intelligence and panache, it’s a very grown-up film but never a bore, a thorny moral parable that leaves the scolding to us. Less mysterious and tightly wound than McDonagh’s excellent 'Calvary',but more biting then 'The Guard', it resonates with that 2014 drama in surprising ways. There’s an unusual, intoxicating air to writer-director John Michael McDonagh’s latest, and this most enjoyable film is a wonderful combination of crime thriller and dark comedy.
Our sincere thanks to Universal for this film