INDIE REPORT – FAVOR
Review by Paul Preston
Kip Desmond seems like one of those guys who hit the lottery. Prosperous job, beautiful wife, he’s just LUCKY. The durability of his luck gets a major test in Paul Osborne’s new drama/thriller, “Favor”.
There’s no spoiler alert necessary to tell you the plot of this film. The concept is laid out in the first scene and fires out of the gate from there. The script is streamlined nicely to deliver this plot and not get involved in stray scenes that meander for no reason or jump into side plots that go nowhere.
Kip gets what he wants, and what he’s wanted for sometime is Abby, a local waitress with whom he’s been having an affair. But when things go bad (that bad), Kip ends up going to an old high school friend to help him get rid of the body. The high school friend, Marvin, agrees and…well, let’s just say it doesn’t go so well. Every attempt to keep the act and the situation clean gets foiled by blackmail, guilt or really bad decisions.
“Favor” follows the path of good modern day thrillers like “A Simple Plan” and “Blood Simple”, apparently, movies with “Simple” in the title. But “Favor” is far from simple. Osborne has created a steady air of “uncomfortable” that permeates each scene as the choices the characters make become darker and more desperate. There’s nothing more fun at the movies than watching characters get deeper and deeper in shit, and there’s no shortage of that in “Favor”, as the stakes get raised in scene after scene, sometimes to funny, but often to shocking results.
Blayne Weaver plays Kip, a fine bit of casting, as Weaver can play weasely quite well. Patrick Day is the casting coup here, nailing pathetic loser who can turn around and be quite conniving. We all know and fear the hell out of the guy he’s playing. They all live in our hometown, which is why we left there years ago. Other supporting cast members include Cheryl Nichols, Christina Rose, Rosalie Ward and Jeffrey Combs, but the film belongs to the leads just driving that story home. Again, a film this single-minded is refreshing.
The tech elements are consistent. As most indie films are, this is shot digitally, but unlike most indie features which go nuts with the depth of field ‘cause “Yay! We can do that now! Just like film!”, you’re never saying to yourself, “Look at how nuts they’ve gone with the depth of field ‘cause they can do that now. Just like film”. Instead, the cinematography serves the greater picture of setting the tone. And the tone is dark. The intangibles are here that always set an indie apart from a major studio picture. As they’re intangible, I don’t know what they are, but all indies have them – just…little things that make this film an indie, but I think Osborne’s writing shows he could just as easily collaborate with Robert Richardson, Rick Carter and Michael Kahn, so guys, clear your calendars.
There’s something enjoyable about watching the comeuppance of a white, privileged douchebag. I remember this guy Brad Wilkins from my college (yeah, his name was BRAD), and he never thought the rules applied to him. Man, I’d like to see him involved in the quagmire Kip finds himself in. And that’s another positive quality of “Favor”, you can’t really root for Kip, or Marvin (or BRAD). They’re pretty repellent guys. But you can’t stop watching their story, and you hope the damage they cause doesn’t spread.
But it does.
“Favor” plays on the big screen at the NoHo 7 Cinemas in North Hollywood, CA
Sept. 19th, 7:30 PM
WITH YOUR HELP!
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Watch Paul Osborne as a guest on The Movie Showcast: