4.09.2005

East of Sunset

“East of Sunset”, magnificently directed by Brian McNelis, is a demented love story about a couple in their awkward twenties fighting through individual personal issues to make their relationship work. It’s a wonderful look at the gritty lifestyles of real people with recognizable problems and very human emotions. A film I hold in higher regard than most films distributed by Hollywood.

Carley, a pill-popping, depressed and unmotivated young woman creates emotional barriers with prescription drugs and alcohol. She hangs out at the same bar almost every night, listening to the same band, and inevitably going home with a random guy for a one-night stand. She meets Jim Smith, the bartender, of equally distraught nature. He’s a painter whose muse is heroine but his love is Carley.

Carley is aware of her emotional detachments to men, but Jim fights through her issues and they become a couple. Jim’s artistic success sends him off to New York to set up a show, and when he returns Carley is waiting. Jim confesses his drug activities to Carley who finds his heroine use disgusting. The manner in which Carley reacts is ironic, since her alcohol and pill use of the addictive nature as well. It’s evident that her father’s death may have something to do with a parallel act.

Carley wants Jim to promise that when he goes to New York for the second time he will not use. When Jim can’t promise, Carley finds herself going home from the bar with another man. Allan, Jim’s friend at the bar, phones Jim to inform him of her actions. Jim, who has just been handed another hit at the show, retires to the balcony where he gazes distraughtly at a ring he bought for Carley. Unknowingly to Jim, Carley doesn’t go through with her plans and leaves Jim a message that she is thinking of him. The next day she receives a call from someone stating Jim has died. We later find out he committed suicide on her behalf.

This is a gripping story with a tragic ending, a true modern Shakespearean love disaster film. The music affectively tells this tale of woe, and lends to the suspense and emotional dismay felt throughout the film. One really attaches to the characters played by Emily Stiles and Jimmy Wayne Farley. Their onscreen chemistry is riveting.

The ending is left open; as Carley absorbs the pain of losing probably one of the only people she has allowed herself to feel emotions. Her depressed nature is sure to continue or end in death as she makes last attempts to return to her old ways, but fails miserably. One can only imagine how her life is to proceed.

1 Comments:

Blogger me said...

THIS FILM JUST WON THE MAVERICK AWARD FOR INDIE FEATURE AND BEST ACTRESS IN L.A. AT METHODFEST

I THINK IT COMES OUT ON DVD SOON

3:43 PM  

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