Randomocity
Other // Unrated // $16.99 // April 3, 2009
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted June 14, 2009
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"Randomocity" begins with one of the lead characters sitting on his bed listening to his dictation for a script as a fire burns in a trashcan. My initial impression could have been better, as the opening made it seem like the film had the potential to be a ponderous little indie drama.

Malcolm (Ross Clifton), the screenwriter who has yet to land a big break, and his friend Ashley (Tyler Lee Allen) are opposites. Whenever they meet at a local diner, Malcolm steals the spotlight and the waitresses smile while Ashley fumbles over his words in any attempt to be more charismatic like his friend. The diner scene sets in motion the story that will eventually lead us back to the beginning and to ultimately an understanding of why Malcom sat on his bed with a fire burning nearby.

Angela (Erica Bundy), a waitress from Tennessee, does Malcolm a favor and gives Ashley her number. From there, the story of their relationship and the heartbreaking unraveling of their brief time together begins. Angela likes Ashley and he feels for the first time that he can be himself around a woman. We watch as Ashely transforms into someone who is happy and willing to break free from his life of dieting and looking for something better than himself.

While Ashley and Angela grow closer, Malcolm continues to focus on writing a great script. Malcolm is overconfident but has yet to submit any of his scripts, much to his girlfriend, Jennifer's (Alisha Marks)disapproval. He's always pitching his ideas and his friends are supportive but less than enthusiastic. "Randomocity" manages to be engaging at the beginning, despite some so-so performances at first, but the story quickly shifts and the film takes a dark turn. You expect something to go wrong after listening to Malcolm's voice over when the film began, but how the characters lives manage to break apart is entirely unexpected.

Just when things were going well for Ashley and Angela, she encounters a stranger in an alleyway and is raped. Ashley doesn't fully know how to accept what's happened to Angela, and Angela is no longer the person she was. Things move forward for them until Angela learns some unexpected, tragic news from her doctor. It's this news that sets the end of the film in motion.

"Randomicity" isn't a great film, but it is much better than I expected at the open. While it leaves you with a sad and depressed feeling, the promising thing about "Randomicity" is that it manages to leave an impression at all. While the acting wasn't great at first with actors being a little too aware of their lines, they do manage to deliver heartfelt performances by the time the credits roll. The writing tells a story that is filled with a range of emotions that this kind of film truly needs to make an impact. Director Tyler Lee Allen does a nice job of capturing the mood of the film and he along with co-writer E. Wilkerson Wilder do a fine job bringing the film full circle.

Audio/video: "Randomocity" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film was presented on a CD-ROM, which would lead me to believe that this screener copy doesn't reflect what final product may look like. The 2.0 audio offered crisp, clear dialogue.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Theatrical Trailer

Commentary with Director Tyler Lee Allen and Producer E. Wilkerson Wilder - Wilder and Allen provide a consistent and interesting commentary with insight into the making of the film including discussion about the cast and production aspects. Worth a listen.

"Randomocity" is a difficult, often depressing film, but the performances and handling of the material make it worth a rental for those in the mood for a darker drama.


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