Daily News header

...Around Movie Review

By     get stories by email

A bleak tossed salad of economics and existential despair,...Around, like its brooding nomadic film school protagonist, tends to be circular when a more determined direction at key moments would have been more dramatically constructive. The raw youth angst of this introspective mood piece has a potent intensity, but somehow the sulking main character seems as if he's taken emotional control of the story away from the filmmaker.

Robert W. Evans delivers a flawless performance as Doyle, the troubled son of a Jersey City family plagued by divorce and financial problems. When he turns eighteen, Doyle takes off for Manhattan to matriculate into a film school program, trading in his Jersey bodega stint for waiting tables at a downtown boutique cafe.

When Doyle fails to correctly update his financial assistance forms, the troubled kid with an unbreakable spirit ends up homeless and sleeping in Penn Station. While juggling occasional dead end romance, a contentious relationship with his ailing mom (Berenice Mosca), and an array of dubious credit cards, Doyle is perpetually in search of fulfillment and tranquility in life that always eludes him.

Around Movie

Written and directed by David Spaltro,...Around is an impressive first film that showcases the filmmaker's natural gift for capturing defining dramatic conflicts and inner emotional turmoil. But the narrative itself exhibits some weaknesses, that may be more a reflection of the filmmaker's limited maturity and experience, and where stereotyping then substitutes for character depth.

A case in point is the homeless issue itself. With so much mass suffering in evidence at this point in time during the economic crisis, a burb youth who opts for homelessness as an existential experiment when other choices are possible, seems inappropriate to say the least. And do we really need yet another black mammy in a movie, even if he is a male - in a nevertheless commendable performance by Ron Brice - as a fellow homeless man who has no apparent life history of his own, and seems to be around just to tend to his white friend's wounded psyche.

around1

Spaltro would also benefit from more grounded and balanced experiences with the blue collar workers that he caricatures and demonizes. And with women as well, so that Spaltro's female characters rise above and beyond the two dimensional narrow range from shrewish and difficult to simply psychologically impenetrable. His impressions of the world around him might then be as vivid and engaging as the far too insular, focused inner life of his protagonist.

A Wandering/Cut Film
Unrated
2 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams gives the film, Small Time 3 stars. He said it is very good and realistic, a slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who's understandably torn between moving on with his life.
Kam Williams reviews The Railway Man, an introspective story of Eric Lomax, one of 60,000+ POWs forced to build the Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway, because so many died.
Movie review Kam Williams interviews Bridget Moynahan about the movie Small Time. Here she talks about the coming-of-age drama co-starring Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick and Dean Norris.
Prairie Miller talks to filmmaker Lars von Trier discussing what this work in progress several years ago at Cannes, may or may not have to do with Hitler, heresy, hedonism and existential despair - before being booted from the festival.
Prairie Miller talks to people's performer David Rovics on guitar in his musical depiction of that insurrectionary time with his song, Landlord.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site