FILM INFO: Rory and Saff are the perfect couple. On a romantic weekend away, they become victims of an unthinkable tragedy. Devastated and distraught, Rory's obsession fuels his desperate search for those responsible as he spirals deeper and deeper into madness.
WRITTEN BY: Mark Garvey DIRECTED BY: Mark Garvey GENRE: Thriller TIME: 90 minutes.
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The Same Circles ( 2017 )
Feature Film Review
"The Same Circles" is essentially a search and destroy type of film. Our lead Rory, played by Simon Cleary, begins his journey after a romantic getaway with his girlfriend Sapphire, Alice Phillipson, who gets raped on one of their outings. Things go from bad to worse. A lot worse leaving Rory, a seemingly obsessive compulsive chap, to hunt for those responsible. Sounds like a great concept... and it is. The feelings of violation and loss are pure emotions. Emotions that easily lead to hate, obsession and revenge. I can't imagine how I would react in a similar situation... or maybe I can. Maybe you can as well. That old adage, give me five minutes alone with the bastard(s) comes to mind and personally, five minutes just wouldn't be enough. Making matters worse is the feelings of violation not just from Sapphire, but Rory himself. Did I mention he was present when all this occurred? So, on top of everything, a sense of helplessness and worthlessness is also added into the mix. Truly, this "sounds" like a great recipe for a film - and it is. The small problem with "The Same Circles" is within the presentation of this dire scenario. By no means is this a bad film, it's actually quite good - especially for an indie low budget production, it's just feels quite long. I'll get into that below. First, let me ramble a little on the acting. At first, I was unsure about Simon Cleary's performance as Rory. I understood that he was meant to be a little shy. A little reserved and maybe an obsessive compulsive. I understood that much. However, at times he came across as simply uncaring. He simply tra-la-la'd with what had happened to Sapphire. With that said, as the film progressed... especially in the third act, he far exceeded any expectations I may have had. There's a scene on a beach later in the film, an awkward moment of dire recognition that is still stuck with me as I write this. Overall, although maybe slightly uneven at the start in my humble opinion, Cleary pulled it off. Excellently. The rest of the cast, including Phillipson as Sapphire, were all great. Again, for the supporting cast, the victims so to speak, that third act was a killer. Now, for my main concern with this movie. It's the length or more accurately, the lack of instances within that length. Let me explain. "The Same Circles" could have been done better as a short film. Everything essential to the story could have been played out in under a half hour. What makes up the other sixty minutes? A lot of searching. A lot of looking and a lot of driving and walking. That's it. It doesn't matter how good of an edit, or how nice of a shot... it's still a whole lot of nothing. Most films I call "tracker" movies, such as this, insert elements to break up the monotony of the hunt. Maybe... finding one of the hunted... a chase ensues... and he gets away. Or, some kind of fight and maybe again, the baddie gets away. Anything. In this film, straight through until just before the final act, nothing really happens. A montage of shots featuring Rory searching, texting, etc. Keeping things as they are right now, if this had been a short film, it would have been excellent. Amazing no doubt. Right now it just feels really long. Wanting to make a feature length movie is one thing, doing what's best for the film is another. My opinion anyhow. In the end, "The Same Circles" may feel a little slow up until that final set of segments, but that doesn't make it a bad film. Mark Garvey made sure a lot of visual eye candy was in place, to make shots interesting. Such as flares, angles, etc. But walking and searching is just that. Walking and searching. The opening and last act more than made up for any drag however, I just fear some won't give it the chance. Or maybe they will. Who am I to say. Nutshell? The good far outweigh the bad. It is very worth it to stick around. A solid three and a half stars. Nothing wrong with that at all ladies and gents. Nothing at all.