Eldest son Ward Jansen is a star reporter for a Miami newspaper and has returned home with close friend Yardley to investigate a racial murder case. Younger brother Jack Jansen has returned home after a failed stint at university as a star swimmer. To help give his life some direction, Ward gives Jack a job on their investigation as their driver. But into the mix comes the fiancée of the imprisoned convict who stirs up confusing feelings of love and lust for the young Jack. Meanwhile, Ward and Yardley's investigation stirs up deep-rooted issues of race and acceptance which could cause serious consequences for everyone involved. Written by
This film reminded me quite a bit of "Deliverance." It's about how well-meaning people can end up way over their heads by getting involved with people and subcultures with which they're not familiar. It's less riveting than "Deliverance" but has more sympathy toward its characters.
The plot revolves around a small group of people who join forces for a cause: A woman who wants to free a prisoner she's become enamored of (by mail) and a couple of newspaper reporters who want to dig up the truth about the crime. One of the reporters is seeking justice, the other has a slightly different agenda. The idealistic reporter has a younger brother (Zac Efron) who is an innocent. Innocence, idealism and romanticism come up against opportunism and sociopathy and some of what happens is not too much of a surprise. The end of the movie had a great deal of dramatic potential and could have been more suspenseful in the hands of a more polished director. The movie overall is somewhat lurid, a Southern Gothic, but not as lurid as some critics have claimed. Overall it is a movie with some poignancy.
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