Director: Ben Bloore
Writer: Ben Fowkes
Starring: Michelle Darkin Price, Phil Molloy, Tina Harris, Mark Tunstall
Synopsis: “Sitting alone on a bench, Alison is approached by Matthew. Engaging in conversation, she soon learns that their encounter is not by chance.”
Coping with feelings of guilt, grief, or loss is a theme that has always been important in the world, because of its persistence in individual lives. Crossing Paths chooses to focus on two specific strangers trapped by this plight. As a whole, the film is a well-written, well-acted, and well-directed piece that will speak to everyone in a unique sense.
Whenever a terrible thing happens to someone we care about, we’re often at a loss of what we can say or do to better their situation. Most often, what the person really needs is an understanding companion, which is exactly the solution that Bloore and Fowkes outline for the melancholic Alison (Price). When she is joined by a stranger (Molloy) in a Forrest Gump-inspired manner, the two discover common ground. Price and Molloy perform extraordinarily well in their respective roles, conveying the sense of mutual but disjointed struggle. Also, the cinematography is fantastic here, portraying a beautiful landscape. Every shot is simply stunning to regard.
Amidst the main characters’ conversing the audience is shown flashbacks from their separate pasts. Here, contrast is key to the film’s success. There’s already the contrast between the gorgeous weather and the dark discussion between the strangers, and layered on top of that are the scene shifts onto a painful memory lane. Each time the audience is shown a piece of the past, the change happens like a punch to the gut. The aesthetic beauty of the present and the ugly terrors of the past are undoubtedly the most striking divergence in the film.
The only compromising aspects of the film are minor technical details. Some of the flashbacks feature a handheld camera, and thus a shaky frame, which does distract from the story a bit. Also, the lighting in these past scenes leaves something to be desired. It’s difficult distinguish the characters’ faces in the low lighting, but knowing that indie films often have limitations in their budgets makes this forgivable.
Bloore and Fowkes have produced a fantastic film that gives the audience plenty to feel and dissect in only 5 or 6 minutes. Their message is uplifting, and absolutely relevant to all audience members. With such vital subject matter and brilliant execution, Crossing Paths is a grand contribution to the world of indie film.
If you’re interested in learning more about Crossing Paths, visit the film’s Facebook Page.