Set in a dirt-poor neighborhood in the fictional city of San Lovisa, Texas, EvenHand tells the story of two very different cops, working together for the first time. Rob Francis, recently ...
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Set in a dirt-poor neighborhood in the fictional city of San Lovisa, Texas, EvenHand tells the story of two very different cops, working together for the first time. Rob Francis, recently divorced, finds the adjustment from his previous assignment in "Sleepytown" difficult. With his new partner, the volatile Ted Morning, he spends his days breaking up domestic disputes and attempting to make sense of a parade of lowlifes, firebugs and junkies. Morning is the original Texas cowboy, all muscle and bravado: arrest 'em first, ask questions later. The characters and events in EvenHand subtly intertwine until Francis and Morning must both face the consequences of their very different approaches to the job. Filmed on location in San Antonio, Texas, EvenHand is a police story, but it's not about car chases or shoot-outs. It's about two cops struggling to survive in a world where, without warning, numbing routine can give way to primal fear.Written by
Officer Rob Francis:
[narration - as funeral passes]
Most people hate cops. It's a fact, but it's not true. When things go bad, we're the ones you call. We show up, and we arrest people. Because as a friend once said, we're cops, that's what we do. But it's also our job to make things better. Chase away the shadows. I guess sometimes the shadows we chase, are our own.
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Exploring copdom from a different light: A review by Nick Figone
Two worlds collide to ultimately merge when recently divorced Officer Rob Francis becomes Officer Ted Morning's new partner "in crime". Both actors deliver a superb portrayal of everyday life as San Lovisa (Texas) patrol cops, making the movie both believable and interesting.
Morning is the one with a moustache - a cop's cop: no-nonsense, jaded, sarcastic, and desensitized. He scours the street scum as an opportunist who enjoys harassing the local idiots he encounters everyday and lives by the motto: You can't be everybody's friend. Many of his interactions with the citizenry are hilarious and shrewdly impersonal. In one instance, he chases down a fugitive, cuffs him in rancher fashion and proudly asks Francis, "What's my time? I knew I shoulda' been a cowboy." But he admits that he's no good with people. "The problem with people is you say something, and they say something back. That just pisses me off." Deep down, however, he wants to connect with others, in particular a troubled teen named Toby whom he repeatedly handcuffs but never "takes in".
Unlike Morning, "Saint" Francis, as one of his detainees calls him, is a people's cop. But his oversensitivity makes his job more dangerous than it needs to be. Morning confronts him one day and says: "You wanna help people; you arrest them. That's what you do. You're a cop. You arrest people. You OK with that?" Yet Francis still prefers to ask questions first and arrest later. To Morning, this makes him too soft. In another instance, Morning calls attention to his partner's lack of assertiveness during a discussion about their favorite childhood super heroes. When Francis recalls fondly always wanting to be Aquaman, Morning becomes once again amusingly insightful and remarks, "That's because nothing happens under water. So, that makes sense."
The movie has a subtle style all its own. It's not a typical blockbuster relying on stars and effects. Instead it attempts rather well to explore the realities of two people who happen to be cops. Each partner slowly begins to understand the other, and in so doing learns a little bit more about himself. Their dialogue is meaningful and witty, and we are taken on a great ride. The anti-climatic ending effectively demonstrates that it's hard enough to change yourself let alone others. Although Morning upholds the law with a heavy hand and Francis with an easier one, together they weave an evenness that makes EvenHand a superb indie film.
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