Leah of Nod is a thief and has never known anything else. she spends her days stealing from unsuspecting villagers. She is being controlled by the evil Dybbuk and doesn’t think she can get out. But one day, a huntsman named Yadid comes to town and Leah meets him. He is unlike any man she has ever met and he treats her different than Dybbuk treats her. But when Leah is accused of wrongdoing and sentenced to death, who will stand up for her?
Production Quality (.5 point)
With an obvious low budget, the production of The Return is quite cheap, although it seems like it’s the best the team could have done with what they had. Camera work and video quality are almost passable, but the audio quality is quite bad. The soundtrack is too loud at times and is too generic. Though this allegory relies on the quality of its sets, props, and locations, these elements are very cheap and drag the movie down. Finally, the editing is very unprofessional, with awkward cuts and transitions that make for a choppy presentation. In the end, since this genre required a more substantial budget, it might have been a better idea to not try to force it to happen with limited resources.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Allegories are always interesting, and it’s refreshing to have a movie from a different genre, but The Return is somewhat simplistic and even childish at times. The scope and premise are very limited and there are far too few characters. The small number of characters only highlights the fact that the dialogue is extremely empty and cheesy. There are too many allegorical concepts that are isolating and need better explanation. These ideas also need further expansion and development in order to be more substantial. They are not effective because they are too shallow, thus rendering the allegory almost pointless. The ending is also confusing and isolating. In the end, The Return is a nice idea but is greatly short-sighted and underdeveloped.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
While is some potential in this cast, they seem quite amateurish and need further coaching. It seems like they mean well, but they are misguided. There are too many awkward moments and emotions. Line delivery random. Overall, this cast definitely would have benefitted from substantial coaching.
The Return is a half-idea that needed a lot more deepening before it was allowed to go into production. With a very limited budget and an incomplete concept, more time needed to be given to this project before it was forced into creation. Allegorical films can be very powerful tools if used properly, but without careful planning, like in the case of The Return, it can become a big disappointment. There is absolutely a place for this type of film in the Christian entertainment industry, but it must be done properly. Perhaps in the future, this will happen.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points