In 2020, director Vaughn Stein presented his film Inheritance at the Taipei Film Festival.
The plot of the movie
Archer Monroe, the head of one of America’s richest families, died suddenly. All his property will be divided among family members: wife Katherine, son William, daughter Lauren. But the family’s lawyer has one thing that is only for the daughter of the deceased. The girl receives a video message in which her father asks her to go down to the basement and find a prisoner who has been languishing there for over 30 years. His name is Morgan Warren, and for a long time he was a friend and partner of the girl’s father. Until one day they hit a man. To prevent Morgan from exposing them, Archer takes him prisoner. All this time they talked and were friends. The man reveals to Lauren where the body of the man killed that night is located.
With the help of Morgan, the girl learns about her father’s mistress and about his bribery. Considering him a good man, the girl lets the man go free, giving money and a plane.
But, determined to verify Morgan’s identity, Lauren takes his fingerprints. The result of the research sees the girl’s mother and states that the person is Carson, whom she described as “an evil person”.
Trying to understand the situation, the girl discovered that Morgan’s plane never took off, and their family’s lawyer was killed. The man kidnapped Katherine and hid her in a bunker. When meeting with Lauren, he tells the truth: thirty years ago, a man kidnapped Monroe’s wife, drugged and raped her. Archer wanted to kill the man, but along the way, they hit the man to death. The girl also learned that the man was also guilty of the death of her father – Morgan used poison on him, which was supposed to kill the captive himself. Morgan confesses to being Lauren’s biological father. Catherine and Lauren kill Morgan and, along with his corpse, burn the place of his captivity.
The meaning of the film
Lauren is not just the main character, she is special. Against the background of her family, she seems strange, because her main values are honor and justice. It immediately becomes clear why the girl believed Morgan. He appeared before her as a prisoner, innocent, imprisoned by his stupidity. He knows much more about her family, tells how the father of the family behaved and what he did against the law.
The film claims to have a shocking ending, but it seems to be the most logical in this case. The finale leaves a feeling of tension, although it is unlikely to shock the viewer. With one simple confession, all the ideals of a girl are crumbling. She has to make a choice between the truth and her family. Lauren has to face the most terrible truth about her birth. This situation allows you to maintain a certain mood until the very end of the film. That is why we can say about the very successful choice of Lily Collins for the role of Lauren.
But at the same time, the choice of the actor for the role of the antagonist turned out to be no less good. It was played by Simon Pegg, who for the sake of the role brought his body to the desired state. He managed to show a hero who knows only one truth and is not ready for its other options. At the same time, with the development of the plot, the viewer manages to experience a huge range of emotions for his hero, ranging from hatred to boundless sympathy. His appearance immediately makes you think. It seems that he looks like a kind and sincere person who suffered because of his stupidity. But with the help of facial expressions, Pegg shows some “but” in the image of Morgan. As if one little detail doesn’t make him an angel. And the viewer has to think, is the character really that good?
Despite the frequent movements, there is a feeling that the bunker is the only location for the events of the film. No wonder, because the bunker turned out to be the very place where another reality flows, as if the past and the future are united.
Other characters only play for the presence of someone else. Lauren and Morgan are central to this story and are fun to watch. No one but this couple, the plot does not reveal so carefully. In the finale, because of this unity, it seems that Lauren’s mother is superfluous, she introduces an imbalance in what is happening. But if you pay attention to these characters, it becomes clear that they were conceived as a “background” that can only slightly push the plot. The main task of his promotion lies with Lauren and Morgan.
Similar endings are not uncommon in the history of cinema. But in this situation, one gets the impression that the viewer is deliberately led to such an “expectedly unexpected” ending. There are many details in the film that make us believe that the director is leading us on a direct path to this plot twist.
The film can hardly be counted among those that you want to rewatch from time to time, look for new missed details in it. But it is quite enough to make everything clear, without hidden subtext. The director made it moderately saturated, which is the merit of the film Inheritance.