|Index||2 reviews in total|
This is an exciting and fast-paced movie that kept me interested all the way through. It has an unusual story line in that a terrorist is diverted from his usual mayhem by a beautiful woman. He begins to stalk her without realizing that he himself is being stalked by a bounty-hunter. The film is set in the harbour area of San Pedro and is rich with sinister atmosphere enhanced by use of black and white rather than colour. We have become so spoiled by the use of colour in films and on television we frequently forget how effective the use of black and white film can be in the hands of the right director as it is here in the hands of Jason Apuzzo. Govindini Murty is always interesting and lovely in the role of Sita. She goes through a couple of dramatic crises in the film, getting fed up with both her boring job and boring boyfriend and eventually rejecting both. One would have hoped that there was more of a logical reason for rejecting one or the other (or both)and feel that more of an explanation of these events or reason for them in terms of the total story would have improved the film. The fear that Sita feels when she realizes that she is being stalked is extremely well expressed, however, and the dramatic developments that follow in the moody atmosphere of the San Pedro docks and later in and around Sita's apartment are quite exciting and well done. John Barrett is also very good as the bounty hunter and his actions contribute to enriching the film.
This is a stylish, ambitious contemporary film noir in the tradition of such 1940s classics as Carol Reed's "The Third Man" and Anthony Mann's "He Walked By Night," with a little of the cinema verite style of "The French Connection" thrown in. Most of the film is shot at night, with harsh shadows, moody industrial settings, rough-edged characters, and an ironic, black sense of humor. The film also has a great score, obviously inspired by Lalo Schiffrin. "Terminal Island" is also one of the few independent films made after 9/11 that deals with the subject of Islamic terrorism. There are both positive and negative Muslim characters, and the cast overall is pretty diverse. The settings are also pretty good - from the docks and warehouses of LA harbor, to underground tunnels, exotic Moroccan restaurants, old Art Deco/ Spanish homes from the 20's, to seedy 50's motels and ultramodern office buildings. The plot centers around a young woman named Sita who is stalked around LA Harbor by a terrorist, who is himself being pursued by a bounty hunter. The film starts out strong with a witty opening, and is pretty engaging throughout, but lags at times in pacing. The strong points of the film are its striking black and white cinematography, and the acting of its leads. The weak point would be its plot, which is perhaps overly ambitious (with three separate but intertwining story lines) for the modest budget of the film. The movie premiered at the Liberty Film Festival in October 2004 in LA and was well received by the audience. Overall, though the film was made on a very low budget and has its rough edges, the filmmakers made the most of digital technology, and great settings around the port of LA, to make a stylish and ambitious film.
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