Just who is Hettie Entwistle? For Callum, this question becomes more than just a casual ponderance - rather a burning obsession. After finding a photo of this mysterious woman hidden within his late father's things, Callum searches high and low for any information on this mysterious woman. His seemingly fruitless detective skills eventually pay off somewhat, and he tracks down Kitty, apparently an expert on Hettie Entwistle. Quickly, Callum finds out that Hettie is a kind of urban legend - practically erased from history. Most of us know the story of Forrest Gump, and the comparisons to his fictional character are hard to ignore. Hettie was seemingly everywhere that a significant event took place only ... she was far more than a casual observer.
With the connection to Callum's father and the mysterious woman Hettie still a complete mystery, Kitty agrees to help Callum find some answers - if he follows her direction to the letter. Enlisting the help of a documentary film crew who believe Callum is dying, Callum and his brother Simon begin a journey of spirituality and discovery aptly called "The Freedoms" by Kitty. These "Freedoms" are tasks that must be accomplished by Callum and completed to the letter of Kitty's rules. Only then will the answers reveal themselves. As the group sets out to achieve these tasks with Mark Garvey and his crew in tow, the true nature of "The Freedoms" is slowly revealed. Or is it? With a one-two-sucker-punch ending that you'll either love or hate, "The Freedoms" makes sure it leaves its mark on those who follow along during the week-long events of the film. Did I personally enjoy the movie? As I'm sure you've guessed by my rating, I sure did.
"The Freedoms" is a film that uses the documentary/search for answers style as a vehicle for what is essentially a broken family dynamic. Callum and Simon are brothers who are seemingly complete opposites of each other, and the film explores not only their broken relationship - but aims to try and repair it. It wasn't lost on me the complete character role reversal by the ending, honestly? I thought that part of the film was great and thoroughly enjoyed watching it slowly take place.
The cast performed excellently and even Garvey himself, who plays himself, did a great job of making this all feel real. I also liked watching the growth of some of the crew themselves as the film unfolded. It's difficult to put that into words without giving away the film, but you'll know what I mean once you watch this gem. Now ... about that ending. I personally was a little annoyed by how it all played out. Skip to the end if you want to remain completely spoiler-free. I wasn't annoyed by the end results of the relationship between the brothers - that was awesome! I'm talking about the whole Kitty situation. I honestly felt that her big reveal during the very last segment essentially made the entire film amount to ... well, reader, not much. As if the whole journey was essentially for nothing. Take that as you will, but the truth is that one or two minutes completely disrupted the film for me ... and that's all I have to say about that.
So, reader, yes, I thought this was a pretty great film. Also, yes, It looks and sounds pretty damn good as well. Now, I may not have been a massive fan of the ending, but maybe that was the point. Life is often not what you think it is, and often it really is a big sack of balls, and yet still, things have a habit of working themselves out "most" of the time - regardless of an outcome you may not fully enjoy or appreciate. "The Freedoms" was a terrific film, and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.