That was clever. Truly - it really was. I've watched a lot of indie movies over the years - a lot of movies in general - and I can count the times on my fingers, I've really been really hoodwinked during an ending. With this film, I knew exactly what was coming and then... I was exactly wrong. Other than the fabulous ending? It sure doesn't hurt that "Tutu Grande" looks and sounds fantastic either. Derek Sitter's short film is the full package. But putting production aspects and ending aside? It's actually a damn good story. Much better than it should be - considering it takes place in one room. If you get nothing else from this small write-up - you can take that to the bank.
Derek Sitter's short film deals with trauma. Life long trauma of the mind as a life lesson, instead of extensive beating or torture. By no means am I writing that "Tutu Grande" is a violence free film, only that the main plot revolves around something that will last - much longer than beating the hell out of someone. Some lessons are much more effective when mentally hammered home. "Tutu Grande" is a revenge film - or more accurately described, a revenge/justice flick. And let me just say that the setup is perfect.
Let me also write that I actually considered both scenarios this film presented. The one I thought was going to happen, and the one that did happen. Much like Jesse, the vigilante of this movie, at first I believed a severe beating would do the trick. Some real torture a-la my favorite horror/gore film. I'm sure most people in his situation would feel exactly the same. Plus there's the added bonus of teaching that lesson yourself. Then again, I thought the introduction of a third character was the perfect ticket. It was only after seeing how Derek Sitter turned things around yet again... that I gotta agree his way of doing things, his form of justice, was much better. Not only did "Tutu Grande" pull off a great twist ending, but it pulled it off with something that really was better than I originally thought. Jared, the captive in this film, won't be forgetting this ordeal any time soon. As for a life lesson? I can think of none better.
With regards to the technical elements of this production - "Tutu Grande" has absolutely no worries. It looks and sounds great. No doubt using a single location allowed Derek Sitter and the crew, to focus on making sure everything went according to plan - and to be honest? As a viewer I don't care. For the viewers, the how and why doesn't matter one bit. All that matters is the end result - and I'm pretty damn certain the audience watching will have no problem falling into Sitter's little world. In simpler terms... this film doesn't look cheap or B quality at any point - making it easy to jump right in and enjoy.
So "Tutu Grande" looks great - but you may be a little worried about the acting itself. This is a micro indie flick after all. Are you curious? I guess you'll just have to watch it to find out - but to sum things up? Excellent work. Derek Sitter as Jesse, really knows how to deliver a solid performance - as he should considering it's his baby. I couldn't help but see a little Woody Harrelson mixed into his portrayal. Perhaps it was the dialog itself? Or his mannerisms? Hell - maybe even the hat! Whatever the case, it was a fitting performance. No question.
As for our - cough cough - victim? Nathan Woodworth had no problems keeping up. Actually, the role was excellently played. Not quite the monster we would expect. Considering the way he played the character, not as the butch asshole we expect, the ending felt perfect for his personality type. Jared, our hostage for lack of a better word, would almost surely find this punishment much worse than what we're led to believe he was getting. Trust me on that.
At the end of the day "Tutu Grande" was truly an excellent short film. Not much else to write. All the marks were hit, it looks great and was acted much the same way. A solid, deserved four and a half stars. Watch for this one.