Return to Sender is the grueling and uncomfortable tale of a woman who works as a nurse and lives alone. Horrible events occur when she is set up for a blind date that leads to her being sexually assaulted in her own home. The man who commits the heinous act then flees only to be caught and imprisoned shortly after. The woman attempts to get her life together by recovering, bonding with her father and trying to rebuild her now disturbed life at home. Soon though a plot begins to develop that leads to our protagonist taking revenge and reclaiming her life.
This film is very difficult to watch. The subject matter is extremely unnerving and the events that take place in the film deal with real very harsh real world issues. Return to Sender is a revenge film that leaves the viewer feeling disturbed. The violent nature of the assault in the film is presented in a very unsettling way and the film focuses heavily on the after effects of our main character being violated. This is not an easy watch in the way that films from directors like von Trier or Haneke can be difficult.
In the film, Rosemund Pike plays the character of Miranda as a woman who wants to do better in life. She works at a hospital as a nurse and she wants to move into surgery, she has a home that she wants to sell so she can upgrade and she wants to eventually settle down. Among these ambitions, Miranda has flaws that inhibit her from casual interaction around others and when she is expecting a blind date at her home, she is assaulted and begins to lose her grip on things. She then hatches a deceptive and disturbing plot to take revenge and in the process she hurts her father deeply. We see her go from a decent person to becoming immoral and hate-filled by the end of the film.
Rosemund Pike gives a solid performance, as does Nick Nolte playing her father, but Shiloh Fernandez as the man who commits the assault comes across on screen as a weak presence in the film. There are a few supporting performances here that seem undercooked and the dialogue in many scenes seems stilted and unconvincing. The overall pace of the film is sluggish and makes the subject matter that much more difficult to endure, and in the end the film seems to stop without full resolve. Return to Sender is a film that had the potential to deliver a strong message about dealing with trauma but wound up being dead on arrival.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars