Movie Review - Truth (2014)

Sean Paul Lockhart stars in "Truth"
Truth (2014) begins with a young man in prison. A doctor comes to talk to him. She's not a lawyer. She's possibly a psychologist, which should be some indication of the young man's mental state. The young man then struggles to remember the events that led to his incarceration. The rest of the movie becomes a series of flashbacks. Those flashbacks form a narrative, which depicts the young man's relationship with an older guy. The relationship reveals secrets that each of the two men have and in each case the secret is forced out. Their reactions to each other's secret define their characters. One reaction is compassion and empathy, while the other reaction is anger and vengeance. Given the way the movie opens, it hints that possibly something bad will happen to the older man in question, but writer-director Rob Moretti surprises the audience as to where things go.

The framing device is quickly forgotten as Sean Paul Lockhart who plays the young man in question named Caleb Jacobs, a barista in a New Jersey coffee shop, meets Jeremy Dorian, played by Moretti himself, an emergency room doctor. After an online chat, the two almost immediately jump into bed together for some very intense sex. From that point forward, the movie is weighted toward peeling the layers back on Caleb.

We do learn one thing about Jeremy. He's a recovering alcoholic who's been sober for 15 years, but that's it. Caleb rapidly welcomes Jeremy into his life, which mostly exposes Caleb's past, particularly the lies he tells about his mother, played by Suzanne Didonna.

Didonna gives a great performance here. In an amazing monologue in which her character unleashes a slew of hatred, bigotry and the most vile things imaginable at Caleb, you become thoroughly convinced that she is a woman who would violently punch her own pregnant belly. It is a haunting scene and a scary performance. It's a manic and bipolar, emotional swing that was parallel to Kathy Bates in Misery (1990) and was a performance that further reminded me of that Stephen King adaptation.

Lockhart and Rob Moretti (right)
having a portentous moment in "Truth"
The final third of this movie is crazy. It's absolutely crazy and very, very disturbing. It seems to suggest how Moretti feels is the ugly consequence that comes from people holding onto secrets and not telling the truth, or else it's just a fun exaggeration of mental illness reaching a snapping point. It also gives Lockhart who used to be a gay, adult film star an opportunity to show his range as an actor, and to portray a character with a lot of complexity, and I mean a lot of complexity.

Four Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but recommended for mature audiences.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 34 mins.
Opens January 10 at the Quad Cinema in New York.
Opens January 10 everywhere on Vimeo
Opens February 11 on the Dish Network.
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