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Done (2009)

Theatrical Poster
Director:
Joshua Mercurio Drapehs Joshua Mercurio Drapehs
Starring:
Bobby Alvarez Bobby Alvarez
Larry Wade Carrell Larry Wade Carrell
Joshua Mercurio Drapehs Joshua Mercurio Drapehs
Esther Partridge Esther Partridge
Sam Rivas Sam Rivas

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Drama, Psychological Drama, Romantic Drama
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Review by Chad
Added: December 07, 2009
I made numerous references to Kevin Smith's Clerks in my review for the last release to come out of Ungowa Films (Game Over: The Secret Life Of Game Store Clerks), and I find myself going back to that well once again with their latest film. No, it's not another movie dealing with cashiers, but it is a step in an entirely different direction; Game Over was a silly little comedy, while Done is a release that treads deep into drama territory. So, what does this have to do with Kevin Smith? Well, I hate to pigeonhole a group of filmmakers after only one release, but making the transition from comedy to drama is not an easy path to take: one only needs to take a look at Jersey Girl for evidence that some directors should stick with what they know. Still, I was a huge fan of Game Over, so I decided to give their latest a shot even though I was already drawing comparisons in my head. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed with the final product.

I generally try to give you fine readers an idea of what to expect from the storyline in the movies that I review, but it's going to be a bit difficult with this one. You see, this is a short film that clocks in at just over twenty minutes, and I can only discuss about half of that so as not to tread into spoiler territory (this says nothing of the twist, which naturally, I'm not going to reveal). Basically, the film revolves around Sam (Larry Wade Carrell), a man who has stolen a large amount of money from his place of employment for reasons that will be revealed later on. The authorities are on to him and he's more than likely only days away from jail, he's having some relationship problems, and he's just... done. The majority of the film centers around his discussion with best friend George (Joshua Mercurio Drapehs) about the events that lead to this point in his life, and as we move on, we figure out exactly what it is that he is done with.

Was that synopsis a bit vague? Sure, but trust me when I say that the film was actually very well-written. Along with the aforementioned discussion between two friends, the story is also told through a handful of flashback sequences which serve to show us the events in question rather than merely telling us what happened. When we see his side of the story, we realize that we can identify with the main character, and though we may not go to the extremes that he did, we can certainly see how someone could do so with a love interest on the line. The movie is wrapped up with a nice little twist, and even though I can see how the filmmakers hinted towards it when looking back on the film, it came as a complete shock to me during my first viewing. Maybe you'll have a sharper eye than I did (especially if you're actively looking for the clues), but regardless, it was a hell of a way to bring the film to an end.

The acting ability of leading man Larry Wade Carrell was another aspect of the film that shocked me. Now, I knew that he turned in a fine performance in Game Over, but let's be honest: there's a world of difference between pulling some laughs as a game store clerk and getting the audience invested in you as a "normal" person. There are plenty of actors working today who can take on either of those roles and make them work, but to go from one to the other with ease? That is a rarity, and his excellent performance here came as a pleasant surprise. Joshua Mercurio Drapehs is perfectly acceptable as the best friend, and though I can't give him the same amount of praise as I just did for Larry, he certainly held up his end of the movie. There were a handful of performances that I wasn't too crazy about, but these came from minor characters who only show up long enough to deliver a few lines and are nothing to truly sound off about.

Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the film. It told a damned fine story with a great bit of closure, and there was more meat in these twenty minutes than in a lot of feature length films. The acting was great, the production qualities were superb, and the overall product just gets a huge thumbs up from me. 9/10.
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