Sunspot (2022) Film Review | Armessa Movie News


Let’s not kid ourselves. Sunspot is a product of passion that’s being released during a social momentum that seems improbable to absorb a film of this nature with welcoming arms. It reminded of a more experimental time in cinema during the 70s (I didn’t live through it obviously, but it’s remarkable how it was imprinted in the history of modern art), where films expressed a thought without much regard from a possible reaction. Brian Mihok directs a 53-minute film that could be felt as a random stop in time without much impact on who watches it.

Nevertheless, there’s a human element caught by Mihok’s camera that’s very valuable in today’s industry. Where some films (and even drama ones) follow a guide manual in order to comply with a studio, rules, or perhaps a fixed storyline, some others shoot our peers in the most naturalistic and fundamental way. 

And out of that, you make a movie. 

Sunspot is the story of River, a woman whose friendship decisions are awkward but inevitable. River denounces “sticky hands” but morals are weirdly twisted in her life. She doesn’t think much of her acts if they include making her surroundings “happy”. She lives for others, but there’s something inside her own conflict that needs to burst out and express itself. 

Mihok spends much time solving River’s stage and not much else. She isn’t a product of where she grew up. She faces that place, and demands something from it, even if it’s by an expressionless face that actress Joelle Montoya handles very well. 

She’s at the center of a piece that doesn’t demand much in drama territory, but Montoya does what she can with such a passive and slow script. Her story is very, very interesting. But a complicated sideshow of personalities is a bit distracting, even for the director himself.

Are they part of the story? Or are they part of a contract by which Mihok tells a story? I honestly can’t say. Sunspot poked me in such a simplistic way that you can’t help but think if there’s something beyond a cryptic plot about a valuable item that adds nothing to River’s conflict. There’s more in that intimate scenes in the woods where loose discussions about names are more relevant than punchlines that sound good on paper.

Regardless, Sunspot is a beautifully shot film. You can’t help but admire the people who are trying to use a camera to tell a story without revealing much with words, and without time to develop characters. As for River, she’s developed enough to make us like her, love her, and why not, question her acts.

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Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of the OFCS. RT Certified Critic

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– Armessa Movie News