Indemnity (2021) [Fantasia Film Festival 2021] 

Theo, a Firefighter on leave following an accident, is suffering from severe PTSD which leads him to doubt his own mind. When his wife is found dead next to him one morning, he goes on the run looking for clues as to what happened. 

Written and directed by Travis Taute, this action thriller is a decent one at what it does. The set-up, story, and developments are all decently done, but it all feels like déjà vu. Perhaps that’s because this viewer has seen too many action films, but this feels familiar, albeit in a different setting and with a few variations on the themes. This does not mean it’s not an interesting story and way of bringing it to the screen, but it is familiar. The writing and directing here are competently done, some scenes are even really good. 

The cast here shines in terms of what is best in this movie. Lead Jarrid Geduld gives an entertaining enough performance as the Theo and gives good levels of emotions and a few nuances to them, setting himself apart from the majority of medium budget action stars. His work is good. Also part of the team in terms of good acting performances are Gail Mabalane and Abduragman Adams. The cast as a whole is strong with a few lesser performances, but as there are quite a few people involved here, it’s easy to overlook the performances that didn’t work as well as the others. 

The film as a whole looks great with good cinematography, décor, costumes, etc. There are even a few fire sequences that look good, given the feel that the fire was real in most of those scenes as CGI is usually a massive issue, especially on a low budget. This is something to be celebrated, especially in a film about a firefighter. There is quite a bit of fire here and there, in dream sequences and flashbacks, but also in one of the “current day” action set-ups, so seeing fire that doesn’t look completely ridiculous was a massive upgrade from the usual. 

Indemnity is a decently entertaining action thriller with a good lead actor and supporting cast in general. The film feels a bit familiar overall, but once over that, it becomes an easy watch for an action film and it also brings up a few interesting points. It’s a good film for a random evening on VOD. 

The Fantasia International Film Festival runs every year, and this year runs virtually from August 5th until August 25th.