First I'd like to say that I've never been crazy about black and white movies. Especially when it comes to indie, low budget productions. When you consider that black and white began it's existence as a technical limitation of the period, I do often wonder why people still use it so much? You wouldn't reuse a pair of old underwear from the mid 1900's would you? This is often followed by the realization, that the colorless image was probably used to cover up inferior cinematography or lighting. It's no wonder I'm not a fan.
However, "Monochrome: The Chromism" is vastly different. The black and white visuals are actually part of the story - they add something to the narrative, other than being some form of cover-up or gimmick. As a matter of fact? The entire concept of this film is rather unique - in the best possible way. Writer, director Kodi Zene doesn't just use this style as a potential crowd draw for folks who love black and white, here it's used as part of the actual story. I gotta say - this was a low budget indie film I was looking forward to watching. I also should add that it didn't disappoint.
In a nutshell? The world is colorless. The lack of pigment isn't just a novelty, rather just the way the world is. It's when an outbreak of color occurs, people start going insane with fear and hate. This virus that causes glowing skin is spreading fast and must be contained. Country officials are terrified, missiles are launched and chaos reigns. Zene starts his story during the aftermath, but the majority of the movie is an origin flick with only one thing for certain. "Monochrome: The Chromism" again, didn't disappoint. Perhaps it's not perfect, but still a great way to spend an hour. For those looking for final thoughts, and not caring about the technicalities of this film, skip on down to the last section of this write-up.
Without a doubt, I did enjoy this film. However, using the exact same resources, look and cash - had some slight polishing of the script been done, I have a feeling I would have easily scored this film a four and a half stars. I'll get into the why below with some hypothetical examples - but keep in mind, they are examples only. It may feel like I'm nit-picking a bit, but if I'm writing about it - that's because I noticed it. Here goes.
"Monochrome: The Chromism" is slightly over dramatic. Perhaps a little over the slightly line at times, but the over zealous deliveries are not the real issue I had. It's in the dialog itself. Nothing major, just really awkward conversations here and there. There is a scene in an ambulance that serves up a great example. Worried and hurried conversation is taking place, and the medic loudly proclaims - do you understand! It truthfully sounded so weird ringing in my ears. I'm guessing it would have sounded better if the medic simply stated: Understand? Adding the do you felt robotic and strangely over dramatic. Even considering the situation. Kodi Zene's film has more than a few conversations like this. Grammatically perfect - and people don't talk like that. Conversation is messy. Conversation, especially scared conversation, overlaps. Something to consider.
I also didn't buy, for a second, that Jerry was Isaac's brother. Not because of Ryan Barnes performance, that was actually fantastic for the record, but because it just didn't feel right. Being brothers, the characters should have shared some similar traits. Movement, speech, anything... there was nothing. With that said, it's still possible - but the speed, tone and attitude - especially within the scene with their parents, just never sat right with me. Taking loved ones in for help is one thing, but to switch up so drastically and heartlessly? I just didn't buy it. Sorry for being vague, but this is a spoiler free review and anyone who watches this film, will know what I'm talking about. Yet by no means am I even thinking Barnes should not have played the role, but perhaps having Jerry as Isaac's best friend, instead of brother, would have suited the film better.
I also had issue with the bad guys at the end, knowing Isaac got on the bus. How did they know? There's no hint anyone realizes he's infected - and if they seen him, why didn't they pursue? But my biggest concern in the film was the entire girlfriend arc. In truth, she added absolutely nothing to the story. At all. As a matter of fact? Having her character present actually added unneeded length to the film. Again, there was nothing wrong with the acting, just that there was no point in the character. Had the plot turned to Isaac trying to rescue her, or find her... then everything would have made sense. But it doesn't. I imagined this film without her character at all, and realized that there would be absolutely zero hit to the story. None at all... so the question becomes why? One could argue that she is the reason for Isaac getting shot early on, but the truth is him and his brother could have been meeting for lunch - and he could have went to his truck to get his cellphone. Or his forgotten wallet. Anything.
If you did read all my ranting above, don't take it the wrong way. At the end of the day? "Monochrome: The Chromism" as it sits right now, is still a really good movie. The concept is brilliant, it's presented with style and acted really well. I also loved the fact this could... and maybe is... a smaller part of a bigger idea - yet is also it's own story on it's own. In this reviewers humble opinion? A three star rating that was earned, not given. Enough said.