Twenty-four hours in the lives of six friends, examining the intricate weave of words and actions that unknowingly link and change the direction of their lives.
Written By: Steve Johnson
Directed By: Steve Johnson
We never fully appreciate how the smallest of life choices, completely change our lives until they actually do. It's like the old saying: That would never be me... and then it is. This is where "The Students Of Springfield Street" steps in and gives us a glimpse of how our stable and planned lives are really anything but that; of how easily and quickly things change, and that the only real control we have... is to know we don't have much. Sure, our choices can help pave the road ahead but in reality, only a single step can take take you off that planned path completely. The beauty of Steve Johnson's offering is it's portrayal of the fragility of our lives, and how easily we change not only our own existence, but those around us.
"The Students Of Springfield Street" easily earns it's rating based on only two elements. Anything else it does right, is just the gravy on the potatoes. What are those two elements you ask? Clever writing and some damn fine acting. The small seeds of the story to come are everywhere, and the way it's all connected is written with a smart mind and a good eye for the details. Mr. Johnson is a master of pretext, giving this movie a reason to "hit rewind" and see what you may have missed. All of this is pieced together from a production that in itself is pretty decent. Nice camera work and a sharp edit all help pull together the segments that eventually become the film. Even the hand-held (styled) shots fit well into their respective places, giving off the aroma of a production value that is probably much less than you may think.
Things aren't perfect however, but that's alright, close enough. There are a few instances where it feels like Steve Johnson is making "damn sure" we can follow a story thread later on. One such case, involves a drug dealer asking one of our leads the condition of someone he had just robbed. Straight away, I knew there was more to the story, and I believe that was intentional. However, cramming the story, as I call it, was not needed. Sometimes, the writer/director of a film needs to have faith that we, the viewers don't need to be spoon fed and leave the clues as just that. Clues and not outright statements. Makes things much more natural... and fun.
Aside from that, everything else worked really well. Even the audio was clear and crisp for the most part, which is something I'm always thankful for. In the end, "The Students Of Springfield Street" offers up some great production elements that easily give it a much larger feeling. The added bonus, as I wrote above, is the acting from the cast themselves. Without giving a list of every specific character, let's just say that each one of these talented individuals hit the nail spot on. Not even once did I shake my head and think: Ugh. Independent film actors. Some real talent exists within this film, elevating it that much higher.
When it comes right down to it, I was more than just entertained. For a brief time I was a neighbor of Springfield Street. Watching from just around the corner, the lives of my fellow acquaintances. The smart way all these individual stories come together was music to my brain. This is a great film for so many reasons, and one I would love to get a copy of for my personal collection. When the time comes.
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