Recap and reviews of Tribeca 2022: Day 4
Wow! What a day. Tribeca 2022: Day 4 was one for the books. It started off with a big Texas bang and a funny murder mystery. Then, it ended up with what appeared to be a passion project. Either way, I enjoyed good laughs and more tears. And I’m slowly but surely getting through the exciting features from my Watchlist. What could be better? Here’s a recap of the films I saw and my corresponding reviews.
Vengeance | Director: B.J. Novak
Synopsis: Vengeance is B.J. Novak’s feature directorial debut, a darkly comic thriller about a journalist who travels from New York City to West Texas to investigate the mysterious death of a young woman.
Review: B.J. Novak’s feature directorial debut will surely go down as one of the best debuts in a long time. With the ability to capture the BIG-time essence of small-town Texas, he created a narrative that is equally inspiring and entertaining. There’s a bit of murder mystery that goes along with this heartwarming journey of self-discovery. But it is perfectly sweet and made me fall in love with all the characters. Bravo to the cast and crew.
You Can Live Forever | Directors: Sarah Watts & Mark Slutsky
Synopsis: In the early 1990s, queer teenager Jaime is sent to live with her devout Jehovah’s Witness relatives after the death of her father. Early on, Jaime makes an unexpected connection with Marike, the daughter of a prominent Witness elder. The two are instantly drawn to each other and begin a secret relationship. However, their attraction becomes too obvious to hide. So, the community moves to separate the two by forcing them each to make a terrible choice between faith and love.
Review: Nothing impresses me more than when a filmmaker is able to craft an intimate story about pure love and devotion. Mix in a narrative about religion, and I am sure to get hooked. You Can Live for Ever is sweet yet devastating as the two leads form a forbidden bond. The film’s leads are tremendous, giving performances that simply demand empathy.
88 | Director: Eromose
Synopsis: Financial Director Femi Jackson works for One USA, a democratic super PAC (political action committee). When he discovers patterns in donations, he enlists the help of investment blogger Ira Goldstein to dig deeper. Together, they uncover a conspiracy that proves to be dangerous in more ways than one. They follow the campaign money trail back to nefarious origins.
Review: 88 feels like the kind of film that had an incredible amount of potential on paper. Yet, in execution, something is seriously off. The dialogue is honky. The script is lop-sided. And quite frankly, 88 drags in its second act. However, I did appreciate the acting. The cast sold their performances to make me believe that they really enjoyed what they were doing. I can’t be mad at that, at least.
4 Samosas | Director: Ravi Kapoor
Synopsis: Happy-go-lucky, underachieving, wanna-be rapper Vinny is dismayed to learn that his favorite ex-girlfriend Rina is planning to marry his smarmy arch-nemesis. Determined to disrupt the wedding as well as fund the dreams of his family and friends, he and his band of neighborhood pals concoct a plan to steal Rina’s dowry jewels from her father’s supermarket safe. But can this motley crew actually pull off a heist?
Review: There’s a lot of fun to be had with Kapoor’s feature directorial debut 4 Samosas. Yet, I couldn’t fully find myself invested in the story. If you like dry humor and outlandish and vibrant sequences, this just may be the film for you. However, this feels more like a passion project for the director. It looks like the cast had a lot of fun, though, which is always great to see.