Film - Common Grounds

Common Grounds

As part of our Support of Indie, Steve Taylor-Bryant reviews a film from Gibby Pictures...

We love Indie films here at /G-f so when Kris Roselli got in touch and asked if I would review his short film, Common Grounds, I sat down with laptop and really enjoyed 36 minutes of fantastic writing.

Common Grounds starts with three boys playing pirates to an acoustic soundtrack that, as it grows darker in tone, flicks to a young man sat in a diner making notes in a book and narrating the cause and effect of strangers and how long a young woman outside the window would live. The young man is Spencer and he is an insurance analyst that can judge when people are going to die. He is joined by a scar-faced, rough looking man, Danny, a face from his past who starts talking about the darkness within himself.

A flashback to Spencer trying to make a nice meal for his girlfriend shows that Spencer has troubles himself. His obsession with analysing people has led to him having no friends or family and his girlfriend walking out on him after warning he really needs help. Back in the diner, Danny starts to question Spencer about his dreams. Another flashback to the pirate playing children shows a young Spencer and Danny lose their friend Joey as he falls from a tree. This tragedy sparks a chain of events in the young men’s lives that culminates in Danny, high on drugs, playing Russian Roulette with Joey's ghost and blowing half his face off.

The drugs and dreams was Danny's dark place and he believes Spencer's issues are all contained in his notebook so he suggests Spencer burns the book before walking off to find a new life.

This film, written and directed by Kris Roselli was stunning. A story of the effects that loss can have on people and how their lives change, sometimes without them knowing why until a chance meeting brings everything to the fore. Leonidas Grimanis as Spencer plays the role straight, pretending to not have issues and burying his head in the sand, whilst Danny, portrayed by Danny Donnelly, shows a character we would normally expect to see, struggling with life and relationships. The two men are perfect foils for each other and the strong script brings performances you wouldn’t normally expect from a film made for around $500.

Being a film made quite cheaply there are some camera shake moments, but not many and certainly not enough to stop your enjoyment of the story, and the flashback periods are warranted, well placed in the storyline and edited to a very high standard.

Image - Gibby.