All was well for Levi, with his parents and brother living pretty well on in an island community; however when the powers that be build a bridge connecting the island to the mainland, it changes the fishing patterns in the area and has an immediate and direct impact on the livelihoods of those on the island. From there Levi's life is one of changes, even though he himself stays still in the middle of all of it.
There are some common genres that come up when you watch short films a lot; zombie horrors seem to make everything think that running and shaking a camera through a wood makes you Sam Raimi, while kooky little comedies with impassive lead characters and a mellow soundtrack seems easy thanks to the influence of Wes Anderson. This film falls into the latter camp, which is not to say that it is a bad film, but just to acknowledge that it does fall into some very clearly defined lines. This is a shame in some ways because it does make the film feel a bit derivative in how it is structured and delivered. Opening with Levi on the bridge with a decision ahead of him, it plays out basically like a montage of live events. Mostly they are slightly comedic even when they are quite serious; I was quite surprised by this because it throws some big things in there while the kooky music plays, and it did feel like the makers were not sure how to manage slight tone shift, so they decided not to at all.
The narrative plays out as you expect (because of the starting point of the film) and it is all a bit obvious in how it does it, but it does still have a certain amount of charm. I know nothing about cameras or sound recording, but the film does look and sound great – the outer shores of North Carolina look great, with really rich light which the film captures. With one character dialogue is not always easy to catch, but mostly it is clear and well done. The choice of soundtrack is good in terms of matching it to the film, although personally it is also one of the limiting factors because it does define and place the film in a category so heavily that it cannot fail but hurt a bit. The cast are okay. Nilson's voice-over is good, but as a physical actor he tends to overplay and exaggerate things just a bit – I liked him as the character though, and I guess the overplaying is part of the turf for this. Looking at the family names in the credits, it is clear this was a film with a lot of local help and it does come over in the film since it feels like a lot of amateur efforts went into making this happen (I don't mean this in a bad way, more that the film has a sense of community feel to it which I think comes from the making).
All told the film is a bit light and obvious, not only in terms of the literal aspects of the narrative, but also in the setting of tone, the writing and the delivery. Technically it is very well made, however it lacks its own voice and seems a bit too content to be simple and slightly comic rather than aiming for more.
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