A castaway, surrounded by water, suffers the most miserable thirst. The same ironic ache haunts lonely souls in the congested city of New York. But on this night, at a hotel, several strangers reach out and connect.
Aloura Melissa Charles
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It's probably not a good idea for one person to be director, writer, actor, editor, producer, and composer on a film. Having different people fill these roles provides a distance and perspective that makes it easier to be ruthless up front, rather than suffer ruthless critics after the film has already been made.
So if I call this self-indulgent, the filmmakers are probably already expecting that.
To summarize the plot, this film is about a mentally ill man who goes off his meds while halfheartedly searching for his missing father who nobody else can be bothered to search for either.
There are some other characters, but I found them to be irrelevant. Of these, the one people will latch onto the most is Avery. He's a new-agey faux-physicist who dazzles his unfortunate students over the internet. One wonders if Columbia banned him from campus.
I did enjoy the first 20 or so minutes, because it seemed like a genuine mystery. I wanted to know about this guy, and why his dad was missing, and why Avery was there.
And there is also a great shot of a train crossing a bridge. It's a different situation than the train in Stand By Me (1986), and you can almost feel the wind as it races by.
But it just didn't gel into a coherent thing. It delved more into the expression of the character's mental illness, and Avery's wild ramblings, punctuated by loud sound effects and blurry camera shots. I'm reminded of Pi (1998) and What the #$*! Do We (K)now!? (2004). Instead, I was expecting something more along the lines of Primer (2004), in the sense of being solid low-budget science fiction, set in a real place, having a plot that is complex but that makes sense.
What I take away from it is that with our hero spending time in pointless discussions and wanderings, a man died, who probably could have been rescued. It's a worthy theme, but as presented it is somehow unsatisfying.
Last, like many films, this film was apparently helped in part by Canada and Ontario tax credits (if I read the logos correctly). Yet, even though the plot doesn't need a New York setting, it seems to be set in New York (if I heard the police phone call correctly). I strongly believe that Canadians deserve films that are actually set here in Canada, not just filmed here.
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