Jealousy and rage often go hand in hand with one another, and "Redville" offers up a perfect example of that. Unless you're a person of extreme calm and control, you'll relate on some level with one of the leading characters, Tony. Maybe not to the extremes Tony's character maintains, but enough to understand. We're not all blessed with complete mastery of our emotions - and it's via this vessel Sean Cranston's film sets sail. The other culprit prominent in "Redville"? The ability to hold a grudge.
The film starts off twenty years prior during a farewell party of sorts for not just the main characters, but for youth in general. Graduation and time to move on with life. Only... after a jealous fight between friends over a girl, these pals won't make the friendship hurdle from school to adulthood. Mainly, it's Tony who is angered away from his pals, and twenty years later, nothing has really changed. It's when Tony's wife hits a guardrail in an accident and dies, that the original suburban posse attempt to reconnect with their old friend - to support him in his time of need. As expected, Tony still wants nothing to do with them - but that's the least of their concerns. As posse leader Julian forces a supportive visit with Tony, the film changes direction. Tony is on the verge of committing murder, and as the crew tries to talk him down, wouldn't you know it, murder is committed. Now, despite everything, the old pals have united again out of necessity. If you think what I've described pretty much wraps things up, think again. Scott Thomson has more penned for "Redville"; things aren't over yet.
Mostly, "Redville" is a pretty straight-forward and relatively enjoyable movie. With that said, it does have a tendency to be a little unbalanced. There's not a lot of equilibrium, and scenes tend to go from one extreme to another quickly. Yet Sean Cranston manages to direct what could have been a difficult movie, into something watchable and easy to follow along with. It's easy to say this is a straight-up thriller with some drama for good measure, but that's not quite the case. There are a lot of other narrative elements that add some depth to the film; depth needed to keep things on the upside of good. This isn't a totally unique concept, but it's fresh enough to maintain its own voice throughout.
"Redville" is also a low-budget, independent flick. So if you are expecting a Marvel quality esthetic, you're in the wrong place. This is a film for those who love indie movies through and through. Sometimes the acting is a little off, and the lighting and general camera quality is not quite where it probably could have been - but the heart of the film is still present, pushing this film well past the average hum-drum mark. As long as you know what you're getting into, you'll be pleasantly surprised. At least I was.
At the end of the day, I got a lot more out of this flick than I expected to get. There's a lot of ground covered here, and my spoiler-free description above only covers about half of it. This is a film about friends, jealousy, rage, and obviously murder. It's a tough and extensive setup for a low-budget film, but it's handled with heart and care. That love of film shines through, allowing me to be a little forgiving of some of the technical shortcomings. To the cast and crew? Nice work - three and a half stars.