in life it is the quiet moments that are the
times worth remembering the most. We always have events or
are flung in front of us as individuals, certainly from time to time,
shove all our inner-peace or solitude into some distant foreground of
Despite all of this happening to us we keep marching forward as
as a society that is constantly moving towards greater
success. Yet what about those quiet moments; how do they impact our
well as the fast and constantly shifting times do?
This indie-hit drama focuses its thoughts primarily on
those quiet and delicate moments in life where we have big realizations
ourselves as we recognize that we are always people faced with growing
changing. Beneath Clouds asks for its audience to take a step back and
ponder the importance of our encounters and interactions with each
how quiet moments like conversations between two people can have the
impact on our growth as individuals. All events happen underneath the
sky, and that
is something this film inherently understands. Anything can happen
clouds - chance encounters, those crazy fast-paced moments, the
solitude, and the
ability to bond.
story centers on the bond between two characters
that one wouldn't expect to normally bond. They both come from
backgrounds in life and are from different circles of friends. Lena
the newcomer Dannielle Hall) is light-skinned girl born to an
and an Irish father. Vaughn is young man from Murri. The two are both
journey that centers on finding family. This unlikely pair ends up
together and as the plot unfolds we discover more about these two young
and some of the history behind their beliefs and actions.
thing that Beneath Clouds tackles really well is
race. It is an issue that is made prevalent in this film, and it is
a way that is humane and heartfelt. Writer/Director Ivan Sen crafts a
is meant to reflect the importance of acceptance and understanding of
and each other. This is always a favorite theme for some of the
film-makers working, and it demonstrates a heartfelt sentimentality
honest and involving. The other thing tackled directly by the
screenplay is the
ability for two people to connect in unlikely circumstances and it was
certainly addressed in a believable and compassionate way. I grew to
these characters: Lena and Vaughn. The
journey the film-maker was taking me on felt important because it was
characters with whom I bonded with simply by experiencing the story.
artistry involved in making Beneath Clouds was also
quite strong across the board. One of the most impressive aspects was
which is frequently striking with bold use of colors and an
how to film the surrounding environments. I was also fond of the
which lent the entire piece a calm sense of joy and sorrow
felt just right for this film. The editing is also exquisite, and
keep the film going at an enjoyable pace. I was amazed that in a film
much conversational dialogue as this that there was nary a dull moment.
I had one major complaint by the time the credits
rolled, it's that the opening credits that began the film were a bit
video of clouds being manipulated in speed through obvious effects and
unnecessarily techno music blasting that didn't mesh well with the rest
sound qualities prevalent in the film.
Ivan Sen brought a personal touch to this
story that made it an involving experience I will not soon forget. Beneath Clouds is an underappreciated film
that at one time found success through film festival roots. Give this
film-making a chance and it might just prove to be a winning surprise.
1:85:1 anamorphic transfer is
in some ways better than I expected for an indie festival film from
However, that isn't exactly the highest praise I can give it either.
has a number of issues. The biggest problem is that when there is a lot
you can see jagged lines. The colors are also a tad less resonant than
believe they were supposed to be. This appears to be an outdated
today's standards. I wasn't terribly impressed, but I was glad it was
an anamorphic presentation (for what that's worth).
audio presentation doesn't fare much better than the
video. It is certainly listenable with the 2.0 language track, yet it
comes close to the kind of sonic experience a 5.1 mix would have
bring to the table. The dialogue is luckily easy to understand and
was surprised by the inclusion
of extras. I just assumed that due to the nature of this film's indie
and age that a recent DVD release would not necessarily mean much in
the way of
extras. Luckily, an entertaining (if only mildly informative) behind
making of is included. There is also a short film entitled 'Tears' that
also written and directed by Ivan Sen. The included short feels like a
to what would come with Beneath Clouds and serves as an enjoyable
was a much more involving and moving film than I had initially
expected. It is a portrait of two young people who bond under unlikely
circumstances. The DVD release has average PQ/AQ but a decent
selection. The film itself is certainly a good enough reason to
release, but the added extras have helped to push me towards regarding
release as Highly Recommended.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.