| A potent and understated examination of the ripple effect of mental illness
An impressively disciplined first feature from youtuber Darious Britt, who showcases his filmmaking advice in a tightly scripted and edited drama about a good hearted young man whose life begins to suffer due to his determination to assist his deeply troubled mother. The performances by Britt and To-Ree-Nee-Wolf are excellent, subtle and convincing. The supporting performances vary a little as some roles were most likely not played by professional actors but they all hold up and are never distracting. The story is compact and fast paced, lacking the self indulgent long shots and overly moody silences that have become as cliched as any blockbuster formulas. The low budget does show from time to time, as the camera they used, a Canon C300, is not a particularly cinematic image and there's a few too many shots in cramped apartments and undecorated hospitals and offices, but the editing and acting is so good that these are very minor complaints. Arizona is shown as a sparsely populated stretching piece of land that fits the theme of a young man seemingly alone in a desperate situation. The messages are conveyed simply and honestly, and avoid overly manipulative melodrama. The movie has a goal and it achieves it in short. It is a perfect example of story and character trumping budget and scale. A highly recommended watch that is moving and sincere.