Detective Fischer is on the case. It almost sounds cliche, but "Between The Divide" works hard to make sure that's not what's going on. This film is all about the twists and turns along the way to figuring out who "the" killer is. Clues are scattered like breadcrumbs, littering this forty minute production, but sometimes it seems, even the breadcrumbs should have breadcrumbs. Alastair Railton, who wrote and directed, promises a flick dedicated to solving the case... and the mind games that go with it. This is a "twisty" kind of film, so I'm attempting to steer clear of any major plot points. I can say this however, the ambitions of Railton, when creating this sort of film, do manage to work on a lot of levels. They also happen to fall flat at times. Thankfully nowhere near as often as they work. Yet the pieces are all here. As are an excellent cast delivering this micro budget thriller. All set in a dreary landscape that mirrors the bleak, yet complex instances that make up the film. When it's all said and done, what is "Between The Divide" really about? The mind. The entire film is a showcasing agent for mental disease. We do get to see some of the steps leading to a full blown breakdown, but the film itself focuses on the aftermath of said breakdown. As well as the defense mounted within ones own head, to cope with a bad situation. The real question I found myself asking after the film? Could the defense mechanism of the mind have been so complete, without a degree of prior illness? Or is it simply something that really and truly kicks in after the fact. No matter how you slice the bread, "Between The Divide" zeroes in on mental illness. Before, after, or even the entire time - is up to the viewer to decide.
As far as micro productions go, "Between The Divide" sets itself apart right from the start. Technically. Although the cash limits do become apparent at times, this flick still "looks" better than a lot of obviously higher budgeted films I've seen recently. There's nothing outlandishly cool about the camera work - yet it remains traditional and looks good on near every level. No hand held, frenzied shots here. Just good ol' camera work done well. For a film that can get to be a little... confusing at times - this was such an important decision. Confusing did I write? Yes. Yes I did. Not in the sense that you won't pick up on things, but enough that Alastair Railton felt the need to explain every single detail in the final act. This was actually one of the drawbacks of this title. As much as the actors did a great job telling, I'm a firm believer in the "show me" don't "tell me" setups. With that said, "Between The Divide" is a long-ish feeling movie as that final act draws near. Loaded up with massive amounts of dialog. Dealing with the subject matter of the movie does require lots of lines, but this film takes things to a new level. Luckily, the cast were up to the task. Francesca Louise White definitely delivers what this film needs. A solid, even maybe a haunting performance. Hot on her trails is Railton himself, who seems to have no problems keeping pace. I also found Rayanna Dibs portrayal of "Harry" to be surprisingly effective. It's hard to write about these performances without giving away key details... so let me just write that "Between The Divide" is a well acted production. Easily pulling this film away from the mediocre level of most indie productions.
At the end of the day, "Between The Divide" was an ambitious project. Most would shy away at trying to put to screen something as complex as this... without a studio budget. The fact this film is actually quite good, is a feather in the caps of the cast and crew. Maybe not the absolute best indie film I've seen in a while, but obviously worth watching. For a job this well done, "Between The Divide" easily "earns" it's stars. Nice work ladies and gents.