The film opens on a small fishing village, Easter Cove, in Maine with a bunch of fisherman singing Blow the Man Down. *The song refers to a boating mishap when a gust of wind blows a ship over.* The story begins at the Connolly girls’ house where the village has gathered after the sister’s mother’s funeral. Priscilla (Sophie Lowe) is the older sister who runs the fish market while Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) is younger sister who only wants to get out of the village and go to college for a better life. Susie (June Squibb), Doreen (Marceline Hugot), & Gail (Annette O’Toole) are old friends of girls’ mother and share fond memories of when they were younger.
During the after funeral gathering, Mary Beth learns their mother left them in huge debt with the possibility of losing their family home which makes her angry causing her to take off to the local tavern to blow off steam. There she meets Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), the driver for the village brothel. (yes, there’s a village brothel–but it’s respectable.) They get drunk and drive back to his place where Mary Beth discovers he’s not someone she should be involved with which sparks an altercation with dire consequences.
Mary Beth explains what happened to Priscilla, and being the older, wiser of the two, Priscilla comes up with a plan to help Mary Beth dispose of the problem. The next day a dead girl is found on the shore, opening an investigation by officer Coletti (Skipp Sudduth) who has lived in the village forever and officer Brennan (Will Brittain) who has lived there a long time as well but doesn’t seem to know the residents very well.
Meanwhile, since the Connolly girl’s mother died, all bets are off with the three friends who decide now is the time to pressure the brothel’s owner –who used to be one of their friends–Enid (Margo Martindale) to close up shop. There’s more to Enid’s story as she’s in a bit of financial trouble as well. As the investigation continues, all points to the mysterious Gorski who may be responsible for the dead prostitute and Enid’s money problem but who seems to have vanished.
Mary Beth, sent to retrieve a key piece of evidence left at Gorski’s place, finds a bag of money instead. This could be her ticket out; except, Enid also went to Gorski’s place looking for the money and finds the evidence. Enid decides to use this as blackmail to get her money but not before the other two prostitutes overhear the exchange and hatch their own plot to get the money.
Finally, Gorski turns up and the three old ladies take care of him properly, Enid learns her fate, and the Connolly sisters learn the true meaning of their mother’s friend’s commitment to being there in times of trouble.
What I Liked
I liked the cold, frigidness of the fishing village and the how the song opens and closes the film. The scenic landscape of the fishing village was captured well and I could imagine the smell of the ocean and fishing docks. The acting was well done for what the story premise and script allowed. Margo Martindale is a favorite of mine and she did not disappoint here.
What I Wished Was Better
While the premise is intriguing and the execution of the material satisfactory, there are story elements which left me questioning the plausibility of this story. One MAJOR element which kept resurfacing for me was how are people so in the dark about the town and residents in a village they lived in their ENTIRE LIVES? For example, did the Connolly sisters not KNOW their mom? This can’t be the first time they hear these stories. How are the sisters just learning the history of the brothel? Wouldn’t that village folklore? I mean, it’s a small fishing village, everyone KNOWS EVERYTHING about everyone. The cops don’t know where Gorski lives? There’s one fish market, one tavern, and and a brothel yet no key people in the story know each other?
It would made it more interesting for me had people known each other, been at odds trying to cover things up, meanwhile looking for the money or what ever. Maybe the town is so small they don’t have their own cops so a couple of investigators from a larger city come to investigate the death of the prostitute only to find their #1 suspect missing as well as a larger cover up?
Blow the Man Down has an interesting premise; although, the character relationships failed to execute it in a plausible way. An Amazon original film. Watch the trailer below: