Aug 30, 2012

Review: No Right Turn - 2009




No Right Turn
Director: David Noel Bourke
2009
Drama/Thriller


Monella (Sira Stamp) is a self-destructive young artist who meets Nina (Laura Bach) and her husband, Johnny (Tao Hildebrand) by accident. The fact is that she dismisses a rape attempt on Nina by a couple of thugs. She starts socializing more and more with Nina and Johnny and realizes that everything is not quite right between the couple. Johnny seems quite unaware of Nina’s life as a whore as she sleeps with everyone and everything as often as she can. According to her she likes to get fucked and if she paid for it, so much the better. Johnny on the other hand is a courier in the drug business and puts away money in a locker downtown.  Nina wants to get her hands on the money and involves Monella in plans to steal the key to the box which Johnny wears around his neck and maroon him after that. But who is manipulating who in this double triangle drama and who is who when it finally comes to having it their way?

When it comes to low budget movies, one can never be sure what to expect. That low budget movies not always have to be amateurish is, however, once and for all proven with this one.  Although some less talented filmmakers tend to use unusual angles for the camera shots it works just fin in this one. Choosing odd angles is a way to make the movie interesting even if it’s not budgeted enough to spend a lot of money on lighting and such things. At the same time, it is a dangerous balancing act, to do it in the wrong way will get an opposite effect, and would just look cheep.
                            
This one works right on the spot even if it’s balancing on the edge from time to time. Its looks interesting both when it comes to the angles and the lighting, even though it is not entirely conventional in this aspect. This also applies to the story itself, which obviously is the film-noir inspired. However, it has not fallen into the trap of using all the classic ingredients at once, and thus escaped from to make a film full of clichés. The music is perfectly chosen and is an example of how to reinforce the feeling or tone of the film in a seemingly simple way. There are different music styles in the more noir inspired parts than the rest of the movie.








The character gallery is completely unprecedented, and although the acting is not on top all the time, the film still manages to balance right the edge in this regard. I am impressed by the vivid imagination required to write the weird characters because I’ve written a few stories in my life, I know how much commitment it takes to do it properly. Writing a story is one thing and to spice it with interesting - and credible characters are something completely different.

By the way, I was very impressed by the stunning opening scene, which is very important. If the viewer gets as interested of the opening scenes as I was, there is a little more time to build characters before the lack of pace gets obvious. This might occur a few times during the 91 minute length of the movie but I still find it very well made and would surely recommend it to the noir fans!