Trouble (2013) - USA - Comedy - NR (PG)
Independent Short Subject - 12 mins
Wesleyan University Senior Thesis Film
Written and Directed by Daniel 'Danny' Witkin
Starring Bennett Kirschner, Max Carpenter, Timothy J. Cox, Chelsea Marino, Khaching Tölölyan, Peter Rutland, Daniel 'Danny' Witkin, Piers Gelly, Adam Johnson, Aaron Khandros, Peter Myers, Henry Molofsky, Adam Rotstein, Benjamin Soloway
*This review is dedicated to the memory of Karen Kelly.. wherever and whoever you are. Otis sends his love.
The feel of an 80s teen comedy with a wicked and fresh sense of humor.
At St. Sebastian's Quiet School for Disreputable Youth they teach teenage boys about character. Once there, you will not leave until you are an adult. Isaac has different plans.
Filmmaking has many venues. Chief among those is not Hollywood as far less than 1% of films made every year come out of or are even associated with Hollywood. Even national cinemas like Bollywood don't make up a majority of films made every year. It is the independent filmmakers at the grassroots level making films at their own expense making the majority of films, and of course among those are film school and college students making films for their classes, or in this case as a college thesis.
There is an 80s teen comedy feel to Trouble. But that's where it parts ways and goes off into its own direction being set in a school for wayward teenage boys. If discipline and abasement were not enough in the daily curriculum, bullying by one's fellow students is served up for lunch and dinner. Not an enviable situation for anyone and one which sets up a plot for our protagonist Isaac to get out of.
A different story combined with a shrewd character in Isaac make for a fun and funny experience. Dark it is in places, but certainly not uncomfortable as Danny Witkin handles black comedy with deftness and his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.
Bennett Kirschner and Max Carpenter deliver in their performances. I don't know their backgrounds and experience, but they certainly handled their roles in Trouble well, being awkward in uncomfortable situations when need be and on key when need be. They deliver and make this film a treat.
Timothy J. Cox is expectedly on top of things.. err.. no, really.. no pun intended. His haughty carriage and disavowing expression sets the atmosphere for the other actors in which to work. He's not just a character but a necessary ingredient in the backdrop of the film and paints it splendidly.
There is a continuity error that stands out to me, but I shall not mention it because if you don't catch it.. who cares? It's just a note to the director that it is noticeable.
Trouble is a film that brings back the fun of a teen comedy and twists it into its own character (okay.. pun intended that time).
My Rating: 4 Fingers
Get into Trouble on Vimeo.. err.. I mean watch the film.