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Friday, 5 October 2012

MON AMI Review - Raindance Film Festival 2012

I'm not going to say I loved it. But they made this movie for $14,000 (Less than £9000)! The film has a lot of charm, some moments of great cinematography, and the editing is fantastic. And I'm going to say it again: they made this movie for $14,000.

The beginning of the film is great --- a text-message exchange between two people, which instantly gets the audience's interest piqued. After that we see two guys, working in a job they loathe -- it's typical indie film fodder, but it's enjoyable. But then the film loses its energy -- plods along, getting lost in best-friend banter that was so fresh when Kevin Smith did it but now independent movies really need to find a new shtick.


As a director, Rob Grant has achieved something to be proud of. He put together a movie on a tiny budget, and shot in an effective and creative way ---- I just feel that, if the script had been great, this could have been a real winner.

But hey, who am I to judge? His movie got into Raindance; so it is a winner.

But I guess I'm talking on a bigger scale. What makes a cheap independent film shine?

For one, you have to totally NAIL the premise, but here, some things were lost in translation. It was the same with 'Locked in a Garage Band'. In 'Mon Ami', when the film spends too much time in friends-at-work-banter, there's a lull in forward motion which leads to a dip in the attention span. The rest of the film suffers because of it.

A general note about independent comedy films in general. Nearly all of them that I've seen this year have had men who work in jobs they loathe, who go about their days with a casual aloofness --- the two characters did it throughout this movie, as did the lead character in 'Locked in a Garage Band', as did a bunch of characters in 'Vinyl' and 'Cinema Six' (all of which I saw at Raindance this week). I feel that we perhaps need to move on and find new indie film heroes, who do something more than casually stroll through movies acting slightly cool and more than a bit above the drama in their lives. In 'Mon Ami', the joke is that they're casually and aloofly strolling through a kidnapping -- and I find it hard to buy into! 


Did I tell you Rob Grant made this movie for $14,000? This review is practically irrelevant -- what matters is what he achieved with virtually no money. And despite the film's flaws, there is a lot to celebrate -- and I'm excited to see what he'll do next. 

Care to share?

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