A Marriage of Film Genres
But just like an “all you can eat,” you won’t get your fill from one source. A truely experimental film, it goes from a twisted, yet heartfelt family drama to just plain weird in a matter of minutes.
As a result, it may not be for everyone.
However, those that can withstand a few extra condiments on their cinematic meals may be able to look past the added dressing and see the flick for what it really is- a dark marriage of film elements that eventually provide an interesting viewing experience.
While “Septien” has comedic elements in it, they are ultimately left in the shadows due to the family drama that develops throughout the course of the film. Underneath the there’s a secret that needs to be uncovered. Although the film drags and is flat out strange at times [brothers licking each other’s nipples at one time], you’ll want to find out what has destroyed this family.
Although experimental, this southern drama is able to conjure up excellent performances from two of its stars and a performance from Tully that puts it all together. In spite of a limited amount of dialogue, Tully is able to portray an emotionally torn brother [Cornelius] with nothing left to lose. After a remarkable high school football career, the former star athlete has resorted to hustling to pay for his alcohol and other vices. Sad, yet real, Cornelius is unable to walk away from a moment of his life that has haunted him for 18 years. Coming home to his family doesn’t help him much either.
As a matter of fact, they’ve changed for the worst as well.
Robert Longstreet and Onur Turkel manage to play battered and broken characters in a way where they earn your pity and respect. They’ve been through a lot over the course of their lives and it’s caused them to change into different people. Longstreet’s character has effectively become the matriarch of the family, as he cooks, cleans and takes care of his brothers, all the while wearing his mother’s old clothes.
Quite differently, Turkel’s character has found a way to be creative in spite of coping with disaster. However, his battles with his own sexuality haunt him daily.
This trio of personalities fuel a truly dark tale of redemption and with solid supporting spots by Mark Darby Robinson, Jim Willingham and John Maringouin, this film has enough talent on-screen to give it’s experimental premise the due it deserves.
Again, there may be some moments of discontinuity and plot gaffs that sometimes spoil the eclectic story, but overall, “Septien” is an indie drama that thrives more times than it falters.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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