Sunday, December 5, 2010

Review - Ink (2009)

“A man has a weakness, he's flawed. That flaw leads him to guilt. The guilt leads him to shame. The shame he compensates with pride and vanity. And when pride fails, despair takes over and they all lead to his destruction.”

Jamin Winans
Starring: Christopher Soren Kelly, Quinn Humovnchar, Jeremy Make
Screenplay: Jamin Winans

Plot: When the world falls asleep agents of Dream and Nightmare walk the night, Dream trying to infuse hope in people, Nightmare despair. One particular night a young girl called Emma (Quinn Hunchar) is kidnapped by a monster and dragged into the world of a dream. Her only hope could centre on her father John (Christopher Soren Kelly). Thus begins a battle between the beings of Dream and Nightmare as Father and Daughter have their very souls at stake.

Every now and then a movie comes along that just makes me want to sing its praises and get more people to watch it. I had seen the trailer for Ink a while back and I really liked the look of it. Unfortunately it was an independent production and I never got to see it at the cinemas, it took me a while but finally I got to see it. With nearly a year of anticipation for the film I braced myself for it not living up to the hype that had built in my mind.

I was completely blown away by the story, some of the acting, the look of the film, music. Everything just comes together so right this has become one of my top ten films of all time. The fact that this movie was made for $250 000 just shows that millions don’t need to be spent to craft a movie that is entertaining and able to wow people with its visual style.

So let’s start with who I feel is this movies biggest star. Jamin Winans has shot this film with such a wonderful style it invokes a dream like aesthetic, with some simple editing techniques he amps up both the nightmare and dream worlds. Also because he wrote the screenplay he truly creates poetic flow from scene to scene. This is his story and he knows exactly what he wants to show the audience. It’s this sure hand that allows for the emotional impact of the ending.

If writing and directing weren’t enough he was also editor, co-producer and most importantly composer of the soundtrack. My goodness is the soundtrack just a wonder. Yet again thanks to him being a unified force on the film the soundtrack just blends into the movie and allows for this perfect poetic flow that I’ve mentioned previously. Emotional highs and lows are just given that much more credence thanks to the music.

Back to the visual look of this movie; it’s amazing. For the small amount of money the world that is created is simple yet breathtaking. Filters, lighting, easy special effects and an eye for detail are just used effectively time after time. Watching this I just keep thinking of the old idea that if you have limited resources it forces you to be more creative.

Acting wise we run the gamut from excellent to bad. Thankfully the main characters work really well with Christopher Soren Kelly as John being such a sad figure. His journey throughout the movie tore at me and much of the emotional heavy lifting is on his shoulder. Jeremy Make as the blind character Jacob is interesting and at first his acting choice was a little weird but I got used to his and while hammy in the end really liked his character. Some of the minor characters do seem a little lacklustre or trying to hard but it’s a very minor niggle in an otherwise superb film.

I don’t normally say that everyone should give a movie a try, mainly because I do understand that people don’t like the same things. But honestly a year on I still want to beat the drum and get as many people as possible to watch this movie. It’s beautiful, emotional and a true triumph on what can be achieved when you have a vision. Please people find this movie and watch it.

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