Tonight is the night - A smart plan,a perfect target and a simple job.
Jonathan planned it all, while celebrating it all with a perfect stranger. Someone will take care of his problem, his wife..After all,what could go wrong?
Written By: Raman Amaravadi
Directed By: Raman Amaravadi
Independent film. The very definition screams a story the way "you" want to tell it, which sounds so much better than: The film I made with almost nothing. The great thing about an indie flick is getting to watch what the director manages to pull together with almost nothing. When finished, the project works as a springboard to a more financed piece of work; as well as a pat on the back from fellow filmmakers who know how tough the process is. If I could, I would score every finished indie flick a five out of five... just for finishing. Alas, things don't work that way and independent or studio; to the viewer who's never made a film, they either like it or they don't, with no consideration of the blood that went into it. "The Murder Plans" is one such title. To those of the indie circle, it's a great piece and deserves to be recognized. To me, who has never written a script- let alone direct a film, it's a solid entry... but nothing to rave about. The central plot involves a double murder for hire, an abusive relationship and an escort. Nothing terribly new in concept, but pieced together well enough to keep it somewhat fresh. The twist ending, again, nothing really unique... but again, unique enough to make "The Murder Plans" worth watching. When the credits start to roll you're not upset you stuck around, as the short film is entertaining, you're just left thinking that with some real money, this could have been amazing.
The technical elements of "The Murder Plans" sit pretty much on par with most other indie/low budget films. A highly contrasted picture, emulating the films of the 1990 era, and some shifty camera angles make up the bulk of the movie. As much as I love the films of yesteryear, the studio look was carefully designed to be that way. From the sets to the costuming. With indie film, that "90's" look feels more to cover up an inferior camera than any real stylistic choice. Still though, "The Murder Plans" features a much more polished look than some, and uses static shots much more than hand-held... to it's credit. This is one of the few indie films I watched without getting seasick, and I'm thankful for that.
The audio is pretty much what you'd expect. Not perfect by any means, but good enough to hear what's happening onscreen. I did notice a few shots where the actor clearly said something, but no sound came out. Very distracting to say the least, but not common enough to "really" complain about.
The cast seemed to have some fun here and the acting may not win any awards, but was done well enough to keep the story moving forward. A few hollow lines existed here and there, but again, not enough to really make a big deal over. For the finished product, a good job was done all around... I just wish a little more clues were given up on the true nature of the escort.
The one area of the film that bothered me, and I kept coming back to it as I sit and write this... is the directors belief that us viewers need to be shown everything: In an exaggerated way! This issue kept ripping me out of the movie, over and over again. From a finger toss of a ring that looked way to scripted, from the ridiculously long shots of finding/removing a gun from a bag. It seemed the key elements of the story were not carefully edited in, but rather thrust into my face. A little more care in the presentation of key objects would have went a very long way.
"The Murder Plans" is a good short film, just not a great one. I was entertained enough to like what I had watched, just not remember it for very long after. I would highly recommend this short to anyone looking to fill a 15 minute void, especially since it's free to watch! It's quirky and it's indie! Raman Amaravadi and his crew end up proving one thing: Being indie doesn't mean everything sucks. Hell, I've seen hundred million dollar productions that were nowhere near as entertaining as this was.
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