Thursday, June 12, 2014

A WIFE ALONE Review- Jonesy's Take

Directed by Justin Reichman
Written by Andrew Brunton and Peter Friedman
Starring: Genevieve Hudson-Price, Ashley Springer, and Sean Patrick Reilly
Synopsis: A young woman hides a secret from her well-to-do husband and his corrupt mentor.

A WIFE ALONE is a modern neo-noir thriller about a young couple, Jaine and Park. Park is a young investment banker who is being mentored by Steve, a corrupt and abrasive businessman. When Park and Jaine come to Steve's house for a weekend, everything begins to unravel.

Even though the film is pretty short, clocking in at just over an hour, but the it never feels rushed. It's a slow burn, and takes it time slowly revealing various aspects of the characters. The story is told somewhat out of sequence. It starts with Jaine running home in a sparkly dress, and we're not entirely sure what has happened. As we follow the weekend excursion, there are random flashbacks to fill in the pieces of the past. This stylistic choice doesn't always work with the story, unfortunately. It doesn't end up adding anything to the plot, and the film would have been better off just telling a linear story.

Reilly is the standout performance as Steve. He starts off the typical wealthy business man who lounges by the pool and smokes cigars. But, very subtly at first, little bits of his extreme and abusive personality begin to surface. Hudson-Price as Jaine does well with what she is given, but for being the main character, her performance is almost too nuanced or there wasn't enough substance for her.

There is an essence of a really good film here. There were certain beats and character moments that really stood out toward the end. However, it suffers from being either too short or too long. The story would have worked really well as a short film, and there wouldn't have been as much character work. Or the film could have been extended by about 20 minutes to give us more backstory of Jaine and Park, who ends up being a little bit one note when all is over.

The film tries really hard to fit into this new wave of modern indie thrillers. Anyone who's a fan of Hitchcock or noir films will see those influences, but in the end, A WIFE ALONE suffers from some bad stylistic choices and undeveloped character work for it to really stand out.

A WIFE ALONE is now available on VOD.

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