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The Rise (2012)
Director sets a high bar the first time out
Just caught Wasteland this past weekend at TIFF and was pleasantly surprised by a solid production from a first time writer/director. As a heist film aficionado I approached the film warily but my friends and I were pleased to find our fears were unwarranted. At first I was a bit non-plussed by the slower pace of the plot. But then I realized that director Rowan Athale was taking the time to tuck wayward threads back into his tapestry before they got unruly and it really paid off.
The casting was well done, Luke Treadaway and Vanessa Kirby had excellent chemistry together. Charlie and Dodds' camaraderie was excellent. It was very clear what the motivations were for the crew as well as the antagonists.
In the QnA after the show, Rowan explained that Wasteland was chosen as the title because of the hopeless locale the characters were situated in. No one can expect to have anything, to make anything of themselves. Even the character who was learning a welding trade was mocked for clinging to false hopes. Perhaps it also explains D.I. West's wry smile as he makes a decision hidden from the audience.
At any rate I am sure that Rowan Athale will use this title to leverage himself out the wasteland of indy film making. This production will turn some heads and this director/writer is one to watch.