If nothing else, "April Again" may make you realize just how closely so many of us are connected. Just how narrow the line is between different lives and quick connections. Essentially, Tyrel Hunt's fifty minute production starts off with leading man Devonte, and ends with him. However, everything in between kind of skirts around him. He is what I like to call a wrap-around character. To use the term loosely, he's the character connecting thread. That's not to say he doesn't have a part to play, only that his particular part is less than you may at first think. An odd choice that "April Again" makes with it's six degrees of separation premise.
Perhaps I don't have it quite right, as Devonte should still be considered our lead protagonist. Yet his particular part in the film is just not as fleshed out as I feel it could have been. The film essentially ends, with him being potentially worse off than he was when in jail. Devonte's prospects are grim to say the least. I almost feel it would have been better to have Ryan, one of the characters that is mute, be the connecting string. He had absolutely zero dialog, but his character was strong enough to have done the trick. Possibly opening things up for Justin Kirkland to really shine as our leading man - by maybe exploring his life a little more.
I'm not going to go into all the little threads of stories, but I can say they do connect somewhat - and "April Again" is a smartly written production - that could have used a slightly longer run-time to it's advantage. Where this film hands down gets things right is the backdrop and atmosphere. Tyrel Hunt's city life visuals are both beautiful and gritty. This isn't a depiction of the fairy tale world of movies - yet at times it actually could be. It's all about the balance, and getting that right truly helped frame the narrative. Maybe even helping it's viewers gloss over any technical issues - that I should add, are far less intrusive than many low budget indie films I've watched lately.
About those minor technical issues... If you watch a lot of low budget flicks, you are probably familiar with some of the staples. "April Again" is no different, but far less in number. At times it's hard to hear the actor over the background noises, and there are also pips and pops throwing their two cents here and there. The popping audio, I assume, is from splicing the tracks into the film. When it's done with a hard cut-off, you sometimes get a loud pop. My solution to this is to go to the last frame of the audio track, and fade it out. Just saying for future reference.
Other than that, there are some awkward edits here and there - and the hand held camera style is present a little more than I liked. Personally? I've become accustomed to the things I've wrote about above, so it really didn't bother me all that much. The casual viewer however, may notice much more than I did.
But where did "April Again" shine? It was the acting. Sure. The visuals were pretty good all around, but easily played second fiddle to the acting. "April Again" features some very real - and convincing portrayals from the majority of the cast. The people populating this characterization of life feel real. As if this was some high brow version of reality TV. In a sense, I suppose it is - only scripted. Hunt's production is one of the better cast indie films I've seen lately. Nothing wrong with that.
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed this piece. Sure. A few things maybe could have been done differently, but somethings potential doesn't take away from what it actually is. "April Again" is a solid, interesting film - handled surprisingly well once you consider it didn't have a million dollar budget. In my humble opinion? Time well spent. A solid three and a half stars.