FILM INFO: "The Letter" follows a heartbroken New Yorker at the end of his rope who finds the writing of his suicide letter, punctuated by a chance meeting with a mysterious woman may ultimately save his life.
WRITTEN BY: Brian A. Ross DIRECTED BY: Brian A. Ross GENRE: Comedy TIME: 11 minutes
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The Letter ( 2016 )
Feature Film Review
Suicide. No matter how people try to avoid the topic it is ever present. Folks will never admit it but the fact is simple: Statistically, you yourself, at some point in your life have contemplated it, or at the very least, know someone who has. Generally it is accepted that the "someone" I refer to should actually be written as someone(s). Suicide is a grim reality, which is why seeing it as a featured topic of an indie film is ambitious. "The Letter" attempts to walk a grim line with a smile planted firmly on it's face. A real smile, not a forced, fake one. It's a line that Brian A. Ross has fearlessly walked and miraculously not crossed. "The Letter" plays out like a genuine effort has been made to create a heartfelt dramady, letting us know that even during the worst of depressions everything can be OK; at the same time cementing the fact that the people around us give us strength and maybe... just maybe, are the real cure for depression. All this wrapped up in an entertaining 11 or so minutes, that will make even the most straight faced person crack a smile. The technical elements of this short film, for the most part, are on par with most studio productions. Attention has been given to every aspect of the film. From the shots themselves and the audio, straight through to the coloring and actual film edit. "The Letter" plays as if it were a well budgeted film, and would look great alongside many of your favorite TV shows. Where it really shines however, is with it's quick pacing and stellar acting. This film flows. It would seem that a lot of attention went to ensuring the narrative wasn't lost in a sea of technical aspects. I personally "know" that it takes an ass-load of work to bring a finished project to the table, however, it doesn't look that way to the viewer. Brian Ross ensures a slick production that comes across as "easy" and natural. The way a film should come across. Shane Allen and Coco Conroy, as the lead characters showcase themselves perfectly. What they brought to the table is a rare find within indie circles. Character credibility and a genuine likability. Not only will you believe that these are real people, you'll also have no problems comparing them to some of your best friends... or at the very least, your oddball ones. No matter how you slice it, you'll easily feel the pain and eventual joy these characters portray onscreen. Nice job all around. A lot of movie is packed into the 11 minutes that is this film. To be blunt... I really, really enjoyed the time I spent here. This is easily a top notch production, indie or not. The real treat here is the "down low" treatment of some hard subject matter, making this film a refreshing light alternative, to the heart heavy and overly serious production this could have been. On a personal note, I almost choked close to the end of the film, with 3 words coming instantly to mind: "What the fu*k" kept slamming into my brain. Thankfully, things weren't quite over yet, and I got to see the ending I had been hoping for most of the film. Excellent way to cap off an excellent film. "The Letter", as you probably guessed, is an awesome foray into indie film. One that may... even have the ability to teach us something. In my humble opinion anyhow. -JT