Daniel's Critical Corner

December 1, 2009

Review: “A Lonely Place for Dying”

Filed under: Reviews — Daniel @ 10:00 am
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Hello Everyone ! 
~ Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner ~
Today, I’m setting my sights on:  A Lonely Place for Dying

There is something to be said for a movie that grabs your attention
from the word “go” and engages you for almost every moment you
are involved.  When said movie is of the independent ilk, accolades
must be given.  “A Lonely Place for Dying” is really a prime example
of what independents can (and should) be.

Writer/Director Justin Evans is fine-tuning his sharp signature style
by involving the viewer on every level imaginable.  I can’t help but
shower this film with praise.  It leaves me anticipating what Evans
will do next !

One of the shining gems in this venue is Ross Marquand, who plays
 a soviet turncoat named Nikolai Dzerzhinsky.  The year is 1972 and
 Nikolai has become disillusioned with the KGB…  He tries to get out
 by trading secrets, only to discover that what he’s falling into may
 be a worse alternative !!!  He eventually holes up in an abandoned
  Mexican prison, facin’ down an assortment of “colorful” characters
that could be either friend or foe.

 Photo above:  Ross Marquand.  Photo below:  Michael Scovotti.

 

Michael1.jpg picture by criticalcorner1

Because I Could Not Stop For Death,

  He Kindly Stopped For Me

 ~ Emily Dickinson

 

Tension builds as Nikolai figures out who wants him out alive, and
 who wants the prison to be his tomb.  Marquand is very effective
 as a person who can be somebody’s strong ally one instant, then
 torture them the next with an almost childlike glee.

 Ross Marquand gives a performance we (usually) only see from the
 most seasoned of actors, taking this movie to another level…  And
 completely transcending the independent genre in the process !

 Also on board here are:  Michael Scovotti (who emulates a 1970’s
 agent so well that it’s uncanny) and the always enjoyable James
 Cromwell…  Not to mention “The Crow’s” Michael Wincott !

   “A Lonely Place for Dying” does not ever look, sound or feel like an 
  independent film.  The writing is superb, the scenery stunning and
  the lighting amazingly atmospheric.  Sure, it’s gritty when it needs
  to be, and often feels claustrophobic only to highlight moments of
     liberation.  Evans provides a taut, suspense-laden roller coaster, 
     and I’d be hard-pressed to say I have seen a better indie this year. 

    Definitely right on target, “A Lonely Place for Dying” is a direct hit.

~

  Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “8.5” out of “10”

 

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