By Eli Brunsman
I had no idea what to expect before seeing The Rendezvous at Heartland. I went into the theater only knowing that it is an action film with some romantic elements. I’m not typically drawn to action, but the promise of a romance convinced me to see the film. The Rendezvous centers around a doctor named Rachel and a government official named Jake as they travel through the Middle East searching for the last Dead Sea scroll. When Rachel’s brother unexpectedly dies overseas, Jake retrieves Rachel from work. Apparently, when someone dies in another country, their relatives are flown out to identify the body.Her brother was an irresponsible but intelligent archaeologist with a passion for history. Rachel is a curious person with a kind heart, so she wants more than identification.
She wants to solve her brother’s murder and find the scroll. But there’s a small problem: various groups of religious fanatics also want the scroll. To me, this is where issues arise in the film. The female religious fanatic’s performance did not win me over. Her southern accent is clumsy, and she looks more like a pop singer than a doomsday prophet. I didn’t understand why a girl resembling Noah Cyrus would be living in the middle of the desert.
Something else I didn’t like about the film was its pacing. We don’t learn anything about Rachel and Jake before the plot thickens; all that sticks out about Rachel is her occupation and kind demeanor. We don’t get to learn if she’s been married before, what her interests are, or what happened to her parents. She seems like a very flat character., but not nearly as flat as Jake! All we learn about him is his ancestors’ culture and that he’s from Ohio. We get an extremely long camel riding scene, but no exposition. The movie delves into the plot too quickly without introducing us to its characters.
However, there were things I enjoyed about the film. I immediately noticed that the movie includes a diverse cast, which I was pleased to see! I think the actors playing Rachel and Jake are great, even though their chemistry leaves a bit to be desired. The cinematography is beautiful, especially the scenes sweeping across the sandy desert and its stars. The score creates an exciting, magical feeling. I especially enjoyed the song after the movie’s climax; it is bold and emotional, which is perfect for the plot’s events. Although the writing has its weak elements, the plot did keep me guessing and interested in the film. Overall, I give The Rendezvous a 3 out of 5.