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“Plight” is a raw and real film that packs a surprising punch and keeps you captivated with its riveting story and powerful performances.

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Plight is a powerful film from Director M.J. Alhabeeb Jr. that deals with grief and how it affects those who experience such incredible losses. It asks you to consider what you’d do to punish those who took everything from you.

Following parallel stories, the film’s heart is connected by a young couple. We first meet them visiting the young man’s father, Joe (Matthew J. Plumb), to share exciting, life-changing news. Starting off on such a positive note, this film is relentless in taking that feeling right from under you.

A tragic incident takes the life of the son, leaving his wife hospitalized and also claiming the life of their unborn child.

At this point, we meet Valentina (Ada Pasternak), the sister of the hospitalized woman. She is dealing with the aftermath of the accident and has traveled from Ukraine to the US to care for her sister. She’s struggling to make ends meet and afford her sister’s mounting hospital bills.

Starting off as our innocent in this world, sheltering her sister from the childhood abuse they endured, she gets manipulated into a twisted plot to get revenge on those who were behind the wheel that night.

I really warmed up to Valentina. Ada Pasternak played this role in such a way to elicit great empathy; she could have done no wrong in my eyes. When the time comes to make lasting decisions, with serious consequences, she seems to be the angel on the shoulder — just trying to do the best things for those around her.

From there, we follow a descent into madness and anger, which is birthed from the idea of revenge and justice.

With actions having consequences, Plight really understands what message it’s trying to convey.

The grieving father, Joe, decides he is to be the Judge, Jury, and Executioner, which shows the sadness lingering within him and forces him to take drastic measures. Sitting in silence just isn’t enough for him to carry on living.

Plumb is so compelling on screen. I felt every single emotion he went through, leaving me with a tear in my eye.

With justice and revenge distorted in his mind, we, as viewers, have to decide for ourselves if he is really doing the right thing.

The knock-on effects of such tragedies are portrayed perfectly. Toward the end, it almost becomes a disturbing tale of seduction and crime.

Without spoiling too much, the slow burn reveals how our characters connect to the story and is a sight to behold. I did not see it taking the turn it did. Plight really surprised me.

I kept thinking about what I had watched, and its melancholy ending left a somber taste in my mouth. I think this film will stay with me for a while, and I will make sure those around me get a taste of what Plight has to offer. I really believe this was a powerful message that needed to be told.

At its core, Plight is a tense emotional drama and a thrilling watch for anyone open to something that’s not outright horror.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4
PLIGHT has been enjoying an award-winning run on the festival circuit. It premiered at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival. Keep your eyes out for this one!

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