Film follows the cool, emotionless Erica, who dives into bed with any man she meets. When she is offered a job in a DIY store in Austin, she discovers the kindness of strangers, but also the gruesome shadowy side of it.
It doesn’t happen very often, though it is possible for a film to just leave me completely emotionally drained. The last time I felt like this after viewing a film, it was for the adaptation of the Jack Ketchum novel, “The Girl Next Door”. It was such a powerful and disturbing film that I would never go back and watch it again. I feel much the same way about “Red, White, & Blue”, written, produced, and directed by Simon Rumley. We are just given a strong group of characters with some powerhouse acting, we learn just enough about them to care about what is happening and out of nowhere the film makes no apologies when it takes a sledgehammer and smashes you across the jaw. It beats the sh*t out of you for an 1hr and 40min, leaving you in a slump on your chair, wondering why it all happened, and how the hell I’ll be able to remove some of the images from my mind. Now after I have said all that, this really is an AMAZING film and I can almost guarantee you have never seen anything quite like it.
Erica (Amanda Fuller) is the type of girl who has her own set of rules. She has no emotional connection to any of the men that she sleeps with, and there are MANY. She just likes to get up and leave when the deed is done. Then in comes Nate (Noah Taylor of “Shine”) into her life. A man that is creepily intent on showing her kindness. We see them grow close as friends and form a bond with each other. And then… well, you’ll just have to see the film. This review is going to be spoiler free to the best of my ability.
Where should I begin with the praise? I think that honor should go to Simon Rumley who wrote a script that was daring, original, and pretty damn frightening. He also directed the film, using a documentary style during the films first moments, later moving in to a more traditional narrative style. Either way, there are moments that are incredibly uncomfortable. The sex scenes are not sexy and the violence is not easy to watch. He makes some really interesting choices. First off, there is no dialogue during the films first 6min. Just a rather bizarre piece of music that would have seemed more comfortable during the end credits. Where the end credits are, there is no music, just the haunting sound of fire burning. The film raises several questions, one of which basically asks if an eye for an eye is justified.
Where the film really works is with the characters and some truly amazing performances. The weakest goes to Marc Senter who plays Franki, an ex-fling of Erica’s whose decisions affect the direction of the film. I’m not saying he was bad, he was good, very good. He just fell a few notches below Amanda Fuller and Noah Taylor who are both incredible. I have to say though, Noah Taylor plays Nate with a ferociousness like I haven’t seen in a very long time. This man is going to blow up in the next few years. We become so invested in these characters, even care for them, that when the crap hits the fan, it really hurts.
“Red, White, & Blue” is not a film for everyone. It’s not a horror film per se, though there are some pretty horrific elements that are played out within the realm of a character drama. If you’re someone who isn’t afraid of a film that wants to rip your heart out, to make you feel something, anything, then please give this movie a chance. Like I said, I highly doubt I will ever watch it again, though I was affected by it. There are some damn fine performances in this film, don’t miss them, the acting is electrifying. Proceed with caution.
Red White and Blue (2010)