Students rebel against a out of control dean of discipline.
Written By: Stolis Hadjicharalambous,
Christopher J. Otis
Directed By: Stolis Hadjicharalambous
When it comes to indie and low budget film there often isn't a middle ground. The film is either really good, or really, really bad. On the plus side, recent indie productions have begun to tip the scale more to the left, and a generation of talent have begun emerging. That's not to say that indie film is populated by good movies as a majority, rather that the number of bad ones are slowly decreasing. Sure, anyone with a smart phone can still put something together and "call" it a film, but recently, even those are becoming more involved and planned.
As an indie reviewer I'm always expecting the worst, but in the case of "The Last Straw" I got something that not only tipped the scale more to the good side... but a film that I truly enjoyed, as I laughed at the over the top situations and characters. This was a fun movie that I feel truly would feel at home with the films of the early 2000s, with it's humor and crazy band of merry students and teachers. Not only was this a fun flick, but it felt like it was fun to create, which came through to screen loud and clear. Not often do you get an indie or no budget film that entertains like a studio production, and since it "felt" full of heart and soul... it entertained that much more. Stolis Hadjicharalambous has directed a clear cut winner as an indie film, and maybe... just maybe created an entertaining piece that easily raises the bar for other indie productions in general. No matter how you slice it, "The Last Straw" was a fun time.
I don't have a lot to write technically, which is becoming more and more common as well, it seems. Yes ladies and gents, that is a good thing. Video is well lit and nicely shot, and the audio is clear and to the point. This is all held together by a nice edit that easily pushes the comedy forward, needing no apologies as it does so.
The cast perform in their respective roles really well, as the over the top characters seamlessly transition from script to screen. Are they silly and at times way to predictable and cheesy? Hell ya! That's the fun! The stereotypical population that make up "The Last Straw" are perfectly corny, and that's just fine for me. I did, until my mind adjusted to the film, think some of the actors appeared a little old to be in high school. That however, is just the way it can be in the independent film world; we can't always get things perfect. It was never a huge issue however, and never stopped me from enjoying the film. I should also mention that the movie did feel a little long winded close to the the climax. A chop of 10 to 15 minutes would have still left me feeling satisfied, but as I wrote... not really a big deal.
In the end I really did have a blast watching this film. The distinction that is studio Vs indie was lost somewhere within the first 20 minutes, and I was left simply enjoying the movie. A huge congrats to the cast and crew on a great production. One to be proud of for sure.
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