Sunday, March 13, 2011

FILM REVIEW: THE WHY by Mike Groener

by Mike Groener

The Why” is the directorial debut of Austin’s Anthony Pedone, Eli Higgins, & Stephen Floyd and a screen adaptation of the similarly cryptic stage production. The film is centered on multiple characters and their experiences in what can only be classified as the castes of death. Trauma binds the main characters as they are each launched into the personifications of their own emotional despair. Whether it’s the overwhelming pain of guilt, or the loneliness of drug addiction, the characters fears are manifested through a juxtaposition of quirky dialogue and unlikely situations. Both alluring and jarring, “The Why” draws from the evil tones of early Polanski while shocking the viewer with gritty vignettes of Hooper-like violence. Although the inspired dialogue and linearity is more art house than horror, viewers are still caught in a metaphysical mélange that feels uncomfortably disorienting. “The Why” balances skillfully framed cinematography while also providing enough lens glare to make JJ Abrams blush. The resulting aesthetic however, causes the viewer to rub their eyes just to ensure they haven’t become wedged into the dream world too. “The Why” exploits its dreary and oddly dulcet worlds by pairing the strange scenes with equally ambient music. The combination is like listening to “Dark Side of the Moon” on headphones while watching “Suspiria” on an old VHS tape. This eerily fascinating world is laden with drug use and off tempo violence. Ultimately, viewers are left paranoid but idealistic, as the undertones of love are spread strategically through the film. In other words, even when faced with the unbearable pain of regret or resentment, we can still find the luminance of love in our darkest hours.....

Film: "The Why"
Directors: Anthony Pedone, Eli Higgins, Stephen Floyd
Film's website:
Screening at Reel Fest, March 13th, 2011 

Review written by Mike Groener

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