SXSW 2018 Review: A VIGILANTE

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

Olivia Wilde stars as Sadie, a victim of spousal abuse, who now assists other victims by getting them out of their difficult and horrible situations.  Sadie is on another mission, though.  She has been desperately searching for her abusive ex-husband who continues roam freely.  With every abuse case she takes on, Sadie must also confront her own personal demons and exercise some restraint when dealing with other women’s abusers.  This restraint, however, will not be exercised at all when she finally comes face-to-face with her ex.

Written and directed by Sarah Daggar-Nickson, A Vigilante offers audiences a heartbreaking and riveting thriller that delivers visceral violence (without being exploitive) and also emotional empowerment.  The film does have a slightly disappointing and transparent climax, but this doesn’t take much away from the power of its messages.  The film has the Sadie character deal with more than one case, in addition to her own personal problem, and I can easily see this concept translated to an amazing television series.

Olivia Wilde is truly wonderful in the lead role, as she gives a fiery and intense performance with just the perfect amount of pathos and vulnerability.  The film also stars Morgan Spector who performs well as Sadie’s utterly frightening ex-husband.  I sincerely hope this film gets picked up for distribution as it deserves to reach more audiences.

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