The Devils 6 Commandments

November 27, 2011
By Paul Pritchard

Revenge is the sweetest sin

The opening scenes of The Devils 6 Commandments include a twist that I really didnt expect. This very effectively grabbed my attention and left me more than ready for the subsequent leap into the backstory.

After repeatedly spurning the offensively sleazy advances of Vincent The Poison (Nathan Bowen), Nina (Gianna Pattison) snaps half-way through a hapkido contest and administers to Vincent a beating he wont forget. Feeling bruised and humiliated, Vincent gathers a small gang of thugs to ambush and rape Nina.

Left for dead, she is found by Father Ramone (Robin Queree) and rushed to hospital. While her physical recovery is quick, Nina is mentally scarred by the events and the hospital feels the need to keep her on suicide watch. It takes the intervention of her step-brother, Ares (Felino Dolloso) to bring her back from the brink. Ares is not the most forgiving person in the world, however, and his approach has been to convince Nina that the two of them should track down Ninas attackers and extract some extremely brutal revenge.

So far it all sounds like a by-the-numbers rape-revenge film, but The Devils 6 Commandments is much more ambitious – and much better – than this synopsis implies. Indeed, the rape-revenge part of the story is dealt with in the first twenty-odd minutes of the film, during which Nina and Ares come into contact with Detective Trevor Moretti (Maninho de Aruanda), a corrupt policeman with a neat line in trading favours.

From this point in the film writer/director, Dicky Tanuwidjaya uses the triumvirate of Nina, Ares and Moretti to provide the narrative centre around which he builds an interlinked collection of six tales of revenge.

The Devils 6 Commandments is a very tightly written crime thriller and one that is infused with an enjoyably dark sense of humour. This is especially apparent in the character of Ares who is the most wonderfully nihilistic hitman Ive seen in a long time.

In fact all of the main characters are very well developed, believable and surprisingly likeable. Not only did I want to know how things would pan out for these individuals, I found myself increasinly caring about them as the film progressed. This is largely due to the strength of the cast who deliver a set of performances which very effectively humanise some deeply damaged individuals.

The strength of these performances also allowed the film to avoid tripping over the occasionally clunky bit of dialogue. This clunkiness reflects the sheer number of plot threads that have been built into the films structure but, it has to be said, these threads tie up so neatly and so effectively that every one of them is completely justified.

Overall, The Devils 6 Commandments is a stylish – and stylised – thriller that is both dark and darkly humorous. It is both cinematic and engaging and keeps you hooked from the opening scene all the way to the genuinely powerful finale.

This is a film that is well worth seeing.


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