Monday, July 18, 2016

FAIRLANE ROAD (2016) [Joe's Review]

When a young man travels to the desert to look after his sick uncle, he discovers wolf-ladies, rattlesnakes, and hail storms, oh my.

Fairlane Road is a movie of two parts. In the first part, Nick the protagonist is in the desert trying to care for his sick Uncle Jack and all sorts of creepy stuff is happening. You watch and wonder "What is going on?" and "What will happen next?" There's a mysterious little girl with a leg brace and a balloon who never talks. And when Nick mentions her to his uncle the uncle replies "Did she see you?!" Mysterious! Menacing.

In the second part, you find out exactly what is going on. A crazy Indian woman who can turn into a Siberian husky or a rattlesnake, and who can also summon hailstorms, is trying to kill Nick. She has a knife, but Nick and his uncle have a gun. She wins.

That's pretty much it. The mass Indian grave in the Uncle's back yard? Not a factor. The weird nightmare Nick has? Guess it was just a dream! The two guys who stole Nick's car? Just car thieves.
And it's all because Nick's uncle drank and drove. Which he shouldn't have done. And then when he did, he should have taken responsibility for it. But he didn't and that's why the Indian woman has to turn into a husky and attack them.

Sure, she can turn into a dog or a snake and make hail, but at one point Nick takes her on, mano-a-shaman, and KOs her. That's when Nick starts arguing with his Uncle about accountability, maturity, and responsibility.

She turns the tables by turning into a rattlesnake in the driveway, crawling all the way up to the roof of the house, slithering down a random flue right in the middle of the ceiling, landing next to Nick at just the moment his Uncle knocks him down and...well, the point is not what happens next. But rather, that for a rattlesnake to do all that slithering would take at LEAST a half hour. Probably an hour. Also, rattlesnakes aren't great climbers, so she might have fallen off the house a couple times trying to get up there. It's a very slow process for snakes to crawl vertically, and they have to execute precise peristaltic waves. It would have taken a long time is what I'm saying. It was a terrible plan that, if they'd shown it in progress, would have looked incredibly stupid.

Gualtiero Negrini, who played Jack the Uncle, turned in one of the best performances we've seen in any of these titles. It helped that he was largely acting across from Nick, who delivered all his lines with the poise and gusto of a stand-in at a line reading. But still, bravo Gualtiero.

Joe's Questions for Paul:

1. Did you think the crazy Indian woman was the nurse from the beginning of the movie? Is that racist?

PH:  I didn't make that connection, but now that you bring it up, I kept wondering whether the actress who played the crazy Indian woman was actually Native American.  Is it racist to wonder without evidence whether a movie is whitewashing its cast?

2. How far off a cliff did Nick fall? Was that like 5 feet?

PH:  Not far enough, certainly.

3. Do you think the movie would have been better if Nick had been really likable? I ask, because he was innocent, and innocence was kind of a theme.

PH:  Trick question!  If Nick were likable, he wouldn't be Nick!  It's sort of like asking if the movie would have been better if the Shaman were a possessed action figure or if the husky were a ten-foot-tall bedbug:  of course it would be better, but it wouldn't be, you know, the same.

4. That was a husky she was turning into, right?

PH:  I had the same question, but then I looked up pictures of Mexican wolves and, you know what? they look a lot like huskies!  Gotta give Fairlane Road credit: even if it were a husky, it played the hell out of a Mexican wolf.

No comments:

Post a Comment