Ana (Minnie Driver) is the struggling mother of a seven-year-old special needs student. Saddled with night shifts and home-schooling, she's dedicated to preventing her son from being lost in a system ill-equipped to handle him. Saul (Jeremy Renner) is a hopeless gambling addict, working a dead-end job to care for his ailing father. In a desperate fight against time, and with his options ever narrowing, he's forced to take drastic measures to escape dire consequences. In the course of two pivotal days - one past and one present - both will confront their own personal demons and seek in each other the healing powers of forgiveness.
Haunting, powerful and utterly heartbreaking.
- Take review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Set across two separate days, one past and the other present, ‘Take’ tells the story of two characters, Ana and Saul whose paths cross with dire consequences. Ana is a hardworking mother of a seven year old boy with learning difficulties and wife to a low paid junior high school teacher. To make ends meet Ana works part time as a maid for the ‘Maid Brigade’ cleaning service and when her son is abandoned by his local school due to his difficulties, Ana is forced into looking for a second job. Saul is petty thief with a gambling addiction. After being fired from his job at a self-storage facility for stealing customers’ possessions, he needs to obtain $2000 stake money to get him into a card game which he hopes will pay off debts owed to a local loan shark, and his quest for the money leads into a series of ever more desperate decisions.
The story cleverly cuts back and forth from past and present playing out the events that led up to Ana and Saul’s paths crossing which both alters and connects their lives forever.
It is absolutely baffling that a film like this was released virtually unnoticed and in only four U.S theatres for a limited run of two weeks, didn't even get a UK cinema release, and gained practically no publicly or awards. It is without doubt one of the best independent films I have seen in the past decade. Both Minnie Driver and Jeremy Renner’s performances are nothing short of phenomenal. The direction is superb, the cinematography striking and the skilfully paced story gradually builds up that by the time the film hits an hour long it has you by the throat unable to take your eyes of the events unfolding on screen.
Profound and deeply moving, this haunting film will leave you thinking about the story and characters long after you’ve seen it. If you enjoyed films like ‘Shotgun Stories’, ‘Monsters Ball’ and ‘The King' then ‘Take’ should be at the top of your rental list.