Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Complacent" is an intense ensemble multi-family drama

The film “Complacent”, by Stephen R. Monroe, and a prize-winner in 2010 at California’s Independent Film Festival, is an ensemble drama (“The Ice Storm” comes to mind for comparison) of middle class families in LA exurbs.  The basic problem is that the characters seem so much alike that, with the film’s often murky lighting, it’s hard to keep them apart.

Myah (Cerina Vincent) and older sister Beth (Kerri Green) both have questionable marriages.  At first, it seems that Beth has the most problems, as Robert (Joey Kern) is so possessive that he’ll cut off her credit cards if she “wastes time” on an art course.  But then Myah finds out that Thomas, who is struggling to find another job, can lose his cool over her uttering another man’s name while dreaming. Oh, the forced intimacy of straight married life!

Tempers start to flare as domestic violence approaches, and then tragedy potentially stalks both families.  The kids are involved and vulnerable, as are even the babysitters.

The production company is Dust Bowl Pictures and the distributor was Go Digital.  The film is shot 2.35:1. The music score is serious and a bit monotonous.  The budget, according to imdb was just $70000, and this film offers a lot of intense drama for that amount of investment.  With a little more careful editing, this film might have been a widespread hit in the arthouse market nationwide.  It’s available from Netflix.

There’s a clever line somewhere, that as you get older, you’re better at things but you have less opportunity. I could say, you get wiser.  But there's less ahead of you.  
The official site is here

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