Sunset (2018) - Review
Updated on April 2, 2018, 5:05 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Recently I had the pleasure to sit down and watch Sunset, the endearing second feature effort from Director Jamison M. LoCascio. This was a movie that as you'll read in the plot line down below covers a lot of well thought out scenarios. It is a valiant narrative that will resonate with audiences. The plot follows "A diverse group of people grapple with the imminent probability of a nuclear strike on the east coast."
Covering the perspective that writers Adam Ambrosio and Jamison M. LoCascio thought to cover was bold. It's not often that an elderly cast would be so predominant in a film from such a young filmmaker. The decision pays off, and is very satisfying. The writing is filled with naturalistic dialogue which lends to the great performances. The team handle the story with great care and ensure that despite the low budget of the film the main focus is on the characters and what is happening between them. It is pleasant to have a focus on the human emotion within the major theme narrative.
There are some caveats to having it be low budget that are easily ignored by the gripping human emotion. The evacuation scenes do lack the sense of a greater population due to the budget restrictions and being unable to display a mass evacuation on screen easily. However, this isn't an issue. The audience's focus and emotional connection is with the characters that were introduced in the beginning and have been the core of the film's journey. Never is the suspension of disbelief lost due to the low budget nature of the movie.
The movie is well shot and edited in a way for the audience to experience the touching and emotional performances from the wonderful ensemble cast. This results in genuine characters that you care about. The relevancy to the today's current geopolitical climate ensures that audiences will see themselves in the characters and the choices that they make. It is a thought provoking film.
At the center of the story's performances are Liam Mitchell (Henry) and Barbara Bleier (Patricia) as the main elderly married couple. Their relationship is the emotional anchor of the film, and both do an amazing job at pulling at the heartstrings of the audience all the way to the last frame of the movie. They are supported by an equally fantastic supporting cast including Suzette Gunn (Breyanna) & Juri Henley-Cohn (Ayden) as a younger married couple, David Johnson (Chris) as a younger mentally challenged man who works with Henry, and Austin Pendleton (Julian) as an old friend of Patricia's who may harbor feelings for her still. David Johnson in particular manages to steal some scenes with his performance. Throughout the narrative these performers make the daunting nuclear scenario feel real.
At the conclusion of the movie I was able to walk away with a sense of uncertainty about how I would react in the same scenarios that the characters had to go through. Sunset is a small darling of indie cinema. Poignant and beautiful. I can sincerely recommend watching this film.
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