Unable to get over the loss of the love
of his life, and stuck with a day job of editing adult videos, Chase meets an unlikely ally - a call girl who works under the various personas she has created for herself. Is Chase ready to uncover
her dark secrets?
Written By: Navin Ramaswaran,
Neal Avram Schneider
Directed By: Navin Ramaswaran
The only way to get better at something is indeed practice and experience. There's no doubt about that. However, one should also take into account natural talent. We all need practice and experience to cross that finish line in a big way, but for those with a natural gift, it takes a fraction of the time, bringing us to "Chasing Valentine," an indie film that doesn't look indie at all. Missing from this flick are many of the hallmarks of independent productions. No bad audio, no openly apparent variations in the video quality, and a stellar group of cast and crew that help this film transcend well beyond our definition of what an indie film looks (and plays) like. Make no mistake, however, this is an independent production and as such is really something special to watch. Although one of the perks of reviewing indie flicks is a chance to be one of the first to see them, sometimes you're left wondering how much longer a distinction will even exist between studio and indie... and how much longer I, or my peers will be able to use a site like this catering to indie content. From the look of the current offerings, it won't be much longer.
Penned by Navin Ramaswaran and Neal Avram Schneider, "Chasing Valentine" is an excellent story that, in a sense, doesn't comply with its specified genre. The smart, and at times funny dialog contains a comic flair that at first will make you question the genre; as the second half of the film rolls in, however, you'll know you're in the right place. The style bending quality of the film is not a bad thing, however. It solidifies the notion that good entertainment is simply good entertainment. The editing and pacing are damn near perfect and completely compliment the lensing and shots, creating a world that completely sucks you in. It doesn't hurt that the cast portrays their respective characters seemingly with natural ease. These actors very well may actually be the characters we're watching... for all we know. The point is that the talent in front of the camera matches the talent behind it. The end result is one hell of an experience. Sadly, I was so wrapped up in the film that I actually forgot I was writing a review. That statement alone could have been my entire write-up, and it would have made complete sense to anyone who watches the movie.
I'm no stranger to the content Navin Ramaswaran puts into our little world. His last adventure into a film I happened across, "Late Night Double Feature," was an excellent piece of work. Site regulars may remember the review and question my ratings on that one compared to this one. If "Chasing Valentine" is so much closer to the grail of the indie filmmaker, production-wise... why the same rating? Put simply, "Late Night Double Feature" was a genre favourite of mine. Right up my ally so-to-speak. I had to consider that when figuring out my numbers. "Chasing Valentine," although completely "slicked out" and polished, just doesn't scream 80s and 90s B horror as LNDF did. That doesn't mean it's not a ridiculously good flick. Content, acting, and post-production polish are all represented for almost an hour and a half and represented well. If you're in the indie film directors' corner, or simply a viewer makes no difference. Written in a straight-up kind of way, let's just write that this is a great and entertaining film. Period. As a bonus, however, for any and all aspiring actors, producers, or directors, "Chasing Valentine" also shows us it can be done and be done well. It's almost scary to think what Mr. Ramaswaran will come up with next.
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