Streaming now on Netflix
Adapted from Donald Ray Pollock‘s novel of the same name and directed by Antonio Campos, The Devil All The Time movie is not for the faint of heart. It is amazing to see A-list celebrities shining as deplorable characters who have no redeeming qualities. In the end, you are rooting for no one and mourning the loss of innocence suffered by a few characters. William Russel (Bill Skarsgård) is back from World War II and on the way back encounters waitress Charlotte (Haley Bennett) who is the love of his life. His experience during the war has made William turns away from religion and the couple decide to raise their son Arvin (Tom Holland) in Knockenstiff, Ohio – a town where everybody knows everyone and in some way related to each other. Charlotte suffers from cancer and things go downhill when she finally succumbs to the disease.
Parallel stories intertwined by fate
The trailer of the movie didn’t reveal much about the plot and as someone who might not have read the novel, you will find yourself trying to find connections between the parallel stories. These stories are told in a non-linear fashion and are not too convoluted that you can’t keep up. Since talking about the other characters will be spoiling the movie, we will refrain from mentioning them. The story is set between the end of World War II and Vietnam War and is based in two small towns that you can’t find on the map and superficially have no connection to each other. Donald Ray Pollock, the writer of the novel also lends his voice as the narrator and is someone you can connect with instantly. He makes sure you can connect all the dots when the time comes. You get to explore these towns as they look towards God for everything good or bad happening in their lives.
The star cast couldn’t have been better
Every actor has gotten the southern drawl perfectly and that is saying something since most of them are British. Bill Skarsgård, as the soldier who lost religion and found it under strange circumstances, is brilliant with his muted presence. Tom Holland again proves that he is an emotive actor. More than words, his face expresses everything the character is feeling. If there was a character played by Robert Pattinson that would completely erase the memory of Cedric Diggory or Edward Cullen, it is Preston Teagardin. He plays the reverend whose intentions aren’t as pure as we are led to believe. He exudes that from the first scene itself and you find yourself not trusting him wholly. Sebastian Stan as Lee Bodecker has a shorter role comparatively but he makes his presence felt. Riley Keough as Sandy Henderson will make you draw your eyes to her every time she is on screen.
The runtime could have been longer
While the editing was done expertly between different storylines. There are some of them that didn’t get as much justice or a satisfactory conclusion. A little longer movie would have helped with that.
WATCH OR NOT:
As we mentioned earlier, this movie is not for the faint-hearted. You will feel that you are just watching a gripping-drama but there are some scenes that even made us wince. If you love dramas that show the best and the worst of human nature, this is the movie for you.
Director: Antonio Campos
Writer: Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos, Donald Ray Pollock
Cast: Bill Skarsgård, Haley Bennett, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Riley Keough
Streaming on: Netflix