One of the downsides of independent cinema is trying to provide a different take on a tale while also telling a good story is difficult. Sometimes to be different some things are sacrificed to stand out. One of those things can be a quality and that’s what’s the main problem with The Custom Mary. It sacrifices strong story-telling for an interesting setting.
Mary (Alicia Sixtos) is a secretary who’s found God in a Christian Cult. They want her to give birth to a cloned Jesus. Meanwhile she has a burgeoning relationship with Joseph (James Jolly), as well. He’s a mechanic with a gift for crafting low riders in their native Los Angeles. While she pursues a romantic relationship with Joseph she has to contemplate whether or not she wants to proceed with her religious movement’s attempts at bringing Jesus back into the world.
The film is designed to tell like a parable about Christ‘s birth, using modern day low rider culture in Los Angeles as a backdrop, but unfortunately doesn’t exactly know how to tell it. It wants to be able to tell it like a telenovela, with heavy narration and minimal character development, but it doesn’t have the strength of that melodramatic style to rely on it. The Custom Mary wants to be a film like Courageous in style but doesn’t have the sort of confidence in its faith-based origins to really let it run.
What we’re given is a half-hearted faith-based film that overly relies on narration to tell its story as opposed to show it.
No extras are included.
GoDigital presents The Custom Mary. Written and Directed by Matt Dunnerstick. Starring Alicia Sixtos, James Jolly. Running time: 81 minutes. Rated R. Released: January 1, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.