Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I Think Of: In a Day (2006)

Here is look at the 2006 indie romantic drama, In a Day. Written and directed by Evan Richards, the film stars
Lorraine Pilkington as Ashley, a sandwich shop worker who experiences an unpredictable yet wonderful day with a stranger named Michael (Finlay Robertson). What are Michael's motives in showing Ashley a good time and is he as altruistic as he seems? Here are some of my thoughts concerning In a Day:

  • This is a very different kind of indie romantic drama than I thought it would be. Sure it has all the trappings of an indie film- low-budget, bland set locations, quirky characters and story, but there's always a hint of dread, like your waiting for the character of Michael to show his true colors, like he can't be this perfect. You think these things because this isn't a mainstream film, so they don't need to end with happy endings. There's just these looks, these stares from Michael that led me to ponder while watching the film, please don't make this another Audition. I don't think I could handle that.
  • As much as this is a romantic drama it is also a meditation on the effects that childhood relationships (i.e. bullying) have on people even into their adult lives. It's that meditation, that study, that brings so much more to the film.
  • The acting is fantastic. Finlay Robertson as Michael has this stalker kind of cool charm that he amazingly somehow pulls off and makes endearing. But the one who steals the show is Lorraine Pilkington as Ashley. She's fantastic, bringing about the sad lonely women who is also both gifted and strong. Looking at her filmography she has done a lifetime's worth of television show's, but after seeing her in this, I'll have to make sure to keep a look out for her in the future. She's just that good.
  • Seriously though, this is incredibly low budget, I mean amazingly so. If a director is really good, he can hide the imperfections that a low shooting budget can bring, and while first time feature length director Evan Richards does an admirable job, it's his direction that I feel really made the film feel cheaper and brought down some of my enjoyment.
  • I couldn't tell until the end if In a Day was going to be a romantic drama or a horror film, and perhaps that's why the film feels so uniquely enjoyable. The story and dialogue all feel familiar and traditional, but its the music and the acting that leave the taste of prevailing dread in your mouth as it seeps through every frame of the film. Kudos to the actors for that.

So there you have it. If you like indie romantic dramas like I do (this is a very poor man's Before Sunrise/Before Sunset) and are looking for something a bit different, then give In a Day a try. I can't say it's for everyone and I can see many people disliking it, because damn if it doesn't have pacing issues, but if you're patient and stick with it, I do feel that the viewer will be rewarded with a unique spin on a tried and tired genre.

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