FILM INFO: Two people are drawn to a landscape that harbors their dark secrets.
WRITTEN BY: Travis Lee Eller DIRECTED BY: Travis Lee Eller GENRE: Drama, Thriller TIME: 8 minutes.
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The Far Away Place ( 2016 )
Feature Film Review
What happens in the desert stays in the desert. That's as good a way as any to describe "The Far Away Place" from writer, director Travis Lee Eller. Mobster types have always known this, so why not grab a page out of their book right? In the movie, our essentially nameless characters, by way of diary styled narration, each give account of their journey into a beautiful desert landscape. Telling their story as they go, but allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions. By films end, the two stories connect, if only briefly and in a somewhat insidious manner. Two conclusions can be drawn by the end of this film. The first is one of morbid delight, as it suggests two similar souls have come together. For better or worse. The second possible implication is slightly more murderous, and may even imply the creation of a serial killer or two. This is not outright presented, or even implied much... but it didn't have to be for me to be thinking just that. However, the use of audio in the scene, and the expressions of the characters did help with those thoughts, for me anyhow. What is explicitly shown to the viewer is a great way to dispose of an irritant to your life, and how the universe seems to draw two of a feather. I could go deeper, and visualize what some would call child abuse, being the cause of one of our characters mindset, but I'll leave that one alone. I will write that it is amazing what a line or two of narration can conjure up, especially when referencing old school discipline. However, when it's all said and done, I would rather think "The Far Away Place" is not that deep. I would rather believe this is a simple story of fate: Two people with a troubled and violent history finding each other. What happens down the road is anyone's guess. For a really short film, "The Far Away Place" manages to pack in a lot of perceived production value. Shots are well framed and nicely done, all held together with a fluid edit. Post production feels right and the audio is clean and crisp. Of course, the audio mainly consists of an overdub in the form of narration, but that's not the point. The point is, production wise, this is a very well put together short film. No complaints from me. In the end, "The Far Away Place" is a decent, well running diversion. It's not an indie film that will make you groan, however, it's not one you'll be talking about around the water cooler. The originality of the story, arguably, doesn't exist. We all know where the bodies are buried. It's a long running joke. For me, with a production that looks so good, I just kept waiting for more. The entire length of the film I kept asking: What's next? As a standalone story, there really isn't anything wrong here; it's the nagging feeling that something bigger is coming that got me in the end. The following short phrase would describe "The Far Away Place" for me. All lead-up. There's just enough to keep you watching, and then it's over. The ending itself, although fitting, felt more like a beginning than an end. Perhaps that was the point. When it's all said and done, this was a great little diversion. An excellent filler before the main event. -MC