Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fierce Friend (2006)

Though not exactly horror, I still enjoyed this film and its strong themes of abandonment, obsession, growing up and letting go. The story is a little weird, a little twisted and is one dark descent into a man's obsessive psyche. Fierce Friend is director Jacob Cooney's feature film directorial debut, and after viewing his short The Frolic, I see great things in his future.

Two life-long friends and roommates, Bobby (Les Borsay), an extroverted yet struggling actor, and Patrick (Kevin Kelley), introverted and newly-unemployed, reach a turning point in their lives when Bobby falls in love with a woman and "grows up," leaving Patrick feeling abandoned. Patrick resorts to drastic and dangerous methods to ensure that things go back to what they once were.

A slow-burn into jealousy, obsession and madness is a perfect way to describe this film. When Bobby invites April to live with him and Patrick, Patrick feels his and Bobby's domain is being invaded. Bobby soon falls for April and they are soon planning their future together...a future that does not include living with Patrick. Patrick begins watching the pair and plotting against April so his and Bobby's friendship can go back to how it was...with just the two of them.

This kind of thriller hinges on the characters and the actors of Fierce Friend pull this off wonderfully. The actors do a great job portraying their perspective roles. Kevin Kelley as Patrick brings a pervasive creepiness and sadness to the film as he becomes more and more obsessive over Bobby, played by Les Borsay. The rest of the cast includes Kelly Pendygraft as Bobby's girlfriend, April, and Thyme Lewis as flamboyant friend Roy. Portraying emotions from happiness to a growing fear, Borsay, Pendygraft and Lewis' performances are pitch-perfect. Kelley stands out from the pack as his character spirals into obsession and madness...when he finally snaps, it is genuinely frightening. The script is well-written, with a slow but steady descent into Patrick's fixation with Bobby, culminating with Bobby's growing suspicion of Patrick and Patrick's desperate attack on April. The characters are also developed well, therefore I cared about them, and even felt sympathy for Patrick.

My only complaint is that the film drags in a few places and needs about 15 minutes edited from it to make it more streamlined. Some scenes felt repetitive and it took a tad too long to get to the climax of the story. Still, that small quibble doesn't diminish my enjoyment of the film. Solid acting, a great story and script and a great ending make Fierce Friend a worthy indie flick to check out.

Go check out Fierce Friend's website for more info...

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