Starring: Jack Dylan Grazer, Fionn Whitehead, Rainn Wilson, Mena Suvari
Written and Directed by: Alex McAulay
Composed by: Joseph Stevens
Director of Cinematography: Guillermo Garza
Originally set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Don’t Tell a Soul starring the rising talent Jack Dylan Grazer and Fionn Whitehead, was pushed back due to the festival’s cancellation. Eventually setting their sights on Deauville Film Festival director Alex McAuley’s directorial debut was finally made.
Upon first glance, everything seems right. The film was selected by Tribeca Film Festival, a writer with some good experience, Jack Dylan Grazer, a simple and thrilling plot, but…this was a flop. However, Don’t Tell a Soul takes you a roller coaster journey of ups and downs. You think at time, well, this isn’t so bad. Right from the get go things move right into the story. Two brothers Matt (Fionn Whitehead) and Joey (Jack Dylan Grazer), one jaded, the other softened by the trauma of losing a father and dealing with a mother that has cancer. Take note, the entire film centers itself around the relationship of these two brothers. So naturally, you’d think that write Alex McAulay would have taken the time to develop this relationship, but instead you get an overly irrational and abusive older brother who constantly berates the sensibly younger brother. McAulay attempted to create an emotional connection by having us sympathize with the younger brother. Yet, there was not enough story to build an connection, leaving you to question why?
The underdeveloped relationship between the two brothers was not the only plotline that crashed and burn. The motive behind the brothers to commit the petty theft was their sickly mother Carol (Mena Suvari) and helping to cover her hospital bills. Let’s just say that Mena Suvari has had better moments earlier in her acting career. Conflicts felt as they were written for a made for TV teen drama, rather than for an indie drama that was set to premiere at Tribeca.
Overall, the lack of writing made for a shallow attempt to what could have been an excellent story, considering how simple the plot was. There was a “standoff” scene were the two main characters actually exchanged the same gun back forth and held each other up each time before coming to the conclusion that they had other plans in mind. There was just too much back and forth. At one point, the film was heading in a Thelma and Louise direction by having the two main characters on the run, but that quickly, I mean the literal moment after they decide to run off together, the cops show up. There’s only one word to describe this film: Absurd. Does that make it unwatchable? Not at all, some might find it entertaining, but this film will likely go unnoticed in the years to come. I say wait for VOD or just rent it when it hits iTunes or Amazon, if you really want to check it out.