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[Tribeca ’12]: Review ‘Resolution’

Chris (Vinny Curran) is a grown man, squatting in someone’s home and burning through a huge stash of crystal meth, shooting guns at the birds that keep fucking with his mind and falling out of trees in a chain of psychotic episodes that finds its way to video. His best friend Michael (Peter Cilella) receives it, has seen enough of the drug crazy behavior, and decides to intervene.

Following directions that lead him deep into the middle of nowhere, past shady streetwalkers and lawn kept llamas, Mike arrives to find Chris firing his pistol from his porch, screaming at satellites and hitting the pipe. Its a lost place that seems to magnet the strange – a place where people go to look for UFO’s, practice cult worship, hunt for secret military bases, or hallucinate heavily away from the prying eyes of the world. A dilapidated house on the edge of an Indian reservation, where bad things happen. Regardless of reason, one thing is certain – every one of its stories will have a bad ending. Or “resolution”. Including theirs…

After its obvious that Chris isn’t going to cooperate, Mike stuns him with a tazer, and handcuffs him to a pipe in his cabin. With seven days to get Chris clean and have him willingly submit to rehab, Mike begins to roam the area outside the house, and starts coming across things they believe may be getting left for him to find, as the pieces start to come together like a puzzle, revealing a larger story at hand.

Resolution is about a drug addict intervention on the surface, but is a cryptic film underneath, interwoven with folklore and dark mysticism. Its near impossible to sum up the elements of the film on one page, as being “genre-undefinable” is very accurate here. Its as strong a mystery as it is a domestic buddy drama, as it is an underground cult horror film or drug based black comedy. This film’s plot progresses naturally and doesn’t try to push one facet down your throat over another. You’ll be laughing in the first 15 seconds, and intrigued by the first 15 minutes. Resolution squirms to avoid your expectations and almost purposely follows the path least traveled. Although its methodical, cultish, and unpredictable, it was well scripted and played out, and was one of the strongest feature showings of the 2012 festival.

So what is it exactly, again? Its slightly David Lynchian but with more reality and simplicity. Its an intervention film, on more than one level. Its about the life of a squirrel, as told by a very creative dog. Its about possession by an entity called genetics and chemical imbalance – as opposed to a demon – and a subsequent exorcism of sorts. Its about crazed drug banter and how maybe not all of it is inaccurate or of stupor. Its about laughing your ass off at Chris, because there is something special about the performance of Vinny Curran that just makes you projectile vomit laughter out of nowhere. Its about someone watching you. A puzzle. Hidden plots. And a man with answers to it all speaking in riddles while smoking something red.

Most of all its about endings, and how all of them must end up bad.

If you meet and speak to directors Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead, you’ll notice that they’re quite similar intellectually, and different just the same. Their intelligence based film geek banter is thought tickling, each one complimenting the other’s ideas from another angle, and this is what translates well from this directing team to the screen.

Resolution is a healthy blend of original and thought provoking encounters following a natural path of unpredictability and occurrence, laced with dualities, mystery, and wit sharp and subtle enough to make you laugh out of nowhere. Rollers looking for surface action and self definitive endings will grumble unsatisfied. Those seeking a higher meaning not spelled out for you will enjoy opening this Pandora’s box of sharp scripted wit, horror, and mystery.




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