Some movies begin with a bang; Concussion begins with a thwack. In the frenetic first scene of the drama, Abby (Robin Weigert) is walloped near her left eye by a baseball. The laceration is minor, but writer-director Stacie Passon asks viewers to believe that the blow gradually inspires a sea change in Abby.
Some movies begin with a bang; Concussion begins with a thwack.
In the frenetic first scene of the drama, Abby (Robin Weigert) is walloped near her left eye by a baseball. The laceration is minor, but writer-director Stacie Passon asks viewers to believe that the blow gradually inspires a sea change in Abby.
At first, all seems normal.
Always on the move, Abby works as an interior decorator when not spending time with wife Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) and their two rambunctious children, one of whom tossed the offending baseball.
Sporting an oversize bandage over her shiner, Abby busies herself with workaday tasks around her comfortable house.
Before long, though, she trades her chores for periodic visits to female prostitutes.
As if this turnabout isn’t shocking enough, a co-worker aware of Abby’s assignations calmly suggests that she might make a good call girl herself.
By this point, the film has squandered its credibility. A concussion is an inadequate explanation for Abby’s sudden reckless turn, but, without a back story, the film forces viewers to accept it.
Was Abby already unhappy when the baseball went flying? Is Kate’s occupation (a divorce lawyer) meant as a clue?
Although her motives remain inscrutable, Abby seems determined to make the job her own, adopting the nom de guerre Eleanor. She also wants to meet prospective clients in coffeehouses beforehand — an awkward excuse for padding the film with touchy-feely dialogue scenes.
“Why don’t you tell me about you?” she asks one blank-faced young woman.
The inevitable happens when one of Abby’s acquaintances seeks to join her ever-growing client base. Self-described Junior Leaguer and class parent Sam (Maggie Siff) is an even more surprising participant in the goings-on than Abby, but the two continue to meet.
Their relationship yields little drama, however, and by the time Abby must choose between her present or former life, Concussion has grown ponderously repetitive.
Weigert does the best she can in a role that is rarely believable. Frustratingly, like many other cast members, she has been directed to speak in portentous, whispering tones that often make her difficult to hear.
The only spark comes from Emily Kinney, who plays Abby’s college-student madam with sassy aplomb — and a keen awareness of the absurdity of the situation.
“I have five minutes because I am in lockdown mode,” she tells Abby, providing a rare laugh. “ Finals are in a week.”