Monday, September 28, 2015

Indie Film Spotlight - The Road Within

Film: The Road Within
Released: 2014
Director/Writer: Gren Wells
Starring: Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel, Zoe Kravitz, Robert Patrick, Kyra Sedgwick
Short Summary: Vincent is a young man with Tourettes Syndrome, who escapes a treatment facility with two other patients in order to travel to the ocean to scatter the ashes of his recently deceased mother.

My Thoughts

People seem to want to read these Indie Film Spotlight posts and I am in the mood to write them. Thus, I thought I would focus on that for a few weeks. This week I watched a new independent on Netflix called The Road Within. Usually what draws me to trying an indie film is who the actors are in it. Though this film does contain many actors from shows that have enjoyed what actually drew me to The Road Within was the summary. I can't pass up a wacky road trip movie. Road trip films usually mean that you're going to get an emotional journey with in an actual journey. Who doesn't like that?

This movie is well shot, edited, written, and has a pretty well put together soundtrack to boot. However, what I enjoyed the most about this film was how character driven the story was. All three of the main characters have quite a few a quirks and ticks due to their disorders. This results in entertaining scenes that are emotional and often comedic. If the idea of guy with Tourettes Syndrome road tripping with a guy with OCD and a girl with anorexia doesn't turn out a having some funny moments I don't know what will. What is important though is that these amusing moments are grounded in reality. I think that it would have been very easy for the characters in this movie to come off cartoonish. Luckily the actors do an excellent job at making all their ticks and mental problems come across in a realistic way. This made me root for the characters. Every time one of them overcame their disorder in the slightest way I felt a sense of victory for them. I love how the movie showed how each of these three characters had their own part in helping each other try to push through their obstacles.

What is great about this movie is that in addition to the wonderful main plot there is also a great sub-plot. Vincent's father and the psychologist that heads the facility that these young people have run away from get to have a road trip of their own while trying to track down said young people. First of all I have to love this just because Kyra Sedwick and Robert Patrick in one scene is the bomb. They both know how to rock a scene. I also enjoyed the fact that through the scenes in this sub-plot the older characters came to revelations of their own. It's awesome when a film can come through with a good sub-plot.

I enjoyed this movie immensely. I had a great time seeing the literal and figurative journeys of these characters. Though it is realistic about the fact that people with these disorders will always struggle, it does show how important being around people that except your quirks can be to your mental health. I think that is an important message. If you're looking for a inventive road trip movie you might want to check The Road Within out.

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