This is exactly what I keep hoping to stumble on when I take chances on low budget independent films - especially thrillers! If you don't have the money for explosions and massive set-pieces than instead give us challenging ideas and a well-crafted script to compensate. It must be said at the top this is truly a unique movie; depending on what you like in movies that could be a great thing or a bad thing. If you'd rather watch any wanna-be Star Wars clone instead of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or any 80's style mindless slasher film instead of something like Fight Club, then this probably won't be your cup of tea. If you don't like movies that make you think about things, especially personal beliefs, this ain't your flick. This movie will make you think. This movie will make you start asking questions, even if you never thought to before. I am kind of amazed anyone had the guts to even attempt this, let alone do so well with it! I read the trivia and saw that it was made for a really low budget and it's a credit to the filmmakers that I never would have known from just having watched it. It never feels "small". Yes, a lot of time is spent in different interrogation rooms (and that was a smart choice - there being more than one - so visually you're not always looking at the same thing) but it's shot and staged in such a way that it's not just people sitting around a table.
It's a complex story but it handles it in a fashion that never treats viewers like idiots - if anything it sometimes makes you work hard to keep up. It never keeps repeating plot points again and again as if we can't remember something important that happened five minutes ago. I personally love complex films with complex characters, and everybody here feels like a real, three-dimensional person. The detectives aren't super-cops, or the best detectives in the department - they're just people holding down a job. It makes you accept how they're handling things especially when things get weird. And, trust me, they DO get weird. But not off the wall, lazy out-of-left-field weird, and a second viewing might prove we should have seen it coming from the start.
The film subtly changes direction several times and there is a shocking revelation at about the halfway point, and from then on it really demands you put your thinking cap on! From there, until an almost 2001 type ending, the movie goes someplace I was surprised it dared to go. There's a stretch in the middle that might take a little patience to get through for some folks but it's worth it for the climax, and it's also probably going to be the part you keep thinking about after the movie is over. I personally didn't mind it because I enjoyed the clever dialogue. Then again, I am a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin and Paddy Chayefsky, so I love dialogue.
There are some great performances in this film - and a few that are a little shaky but nothing to distract. Strong visuals. Great music throughout. And way better edited than most other indie films I've seen. And it's all in the service of a really challenging script. It's in a completely different league than most super low budget films made by people you've never heard of. And even if some parts of the film make you uncomfortable, or if it expects a lot from the viewer, it really is a worthwhile film and the kind no studio would have ever dared to make. I can't wait to see what the filmmakers do next!
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