John Greer, Kelsey Law and David Vaughn
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
"Delivery" is the latest powerful short from One Way or Another Productions
If you've ever had drug addiction impact your life in any way, then writer/director Princeton Holt's Delivery will unquestionably touch you deeply.
If you've never had drug addiction impact your life in any way, you're in denial.
Drug addiction and its devastating impact is center stage, though it must be stated up front that Delivery is about much more than drug addiction or drug addicts. The story itself is simple. Tim (John Greer) is a friend to Julie (Kelsey Law) and Peter (David Vaughn, an engaged couple seemingly on their way out poverty who find themselves having fallen back thanks to their growing problem with addiction. Reluctantly, Tim becomes involved with their lives on a deeper level and offers some advice that may become their key to a sliver of hope.
Working within a mere 20+ minute time span, Holt wisely knows that he can't even begin to approach the full spectrum of addiction and its influence on a life. Even more wisely, Holt doesn't even try to go there and instead focuses Delivery squarely upon its trio of characters. One of the most powerful aspects of Delivery may very well be that Holt absolutely refuses to stereotype his characters as textbook addicts, but instead he makes us realize that these people, especially Julie and Peter, are human beings whose human experience has become stained by their addictions. They are not their addictions but, perhaps, their addictions are starting to swallow up who they are.
As Tim, John Greer does an excellent job of being the calm within the storm of addiction. Greer, whose more than passing resemblance to Everclear lead singer Art Alexakis made me smile more than once, has an almost meditative quality about his performance as every word and gesture seems measured by the thoughts going on within his head. It's an incredibly good performance, though it's a relatively quiet performance and just how good it is may not truly hit you until long after you've watched the film.
As the film's young couple, Kelsey Law and David Vaughn project a believable bond that has become frayed by the always increasing stress and friction caused by addiction. While their initial argument is caused by unpaid bills, it's obvious quite quickly that the unpaid bills are only a symptom for much more that's going on in their lives.
Delivery features a stark and mood-setting production design complemented nicely by the camera work of Josh Ickes and Christopher C. Odom. Gregory Vilfranc's original score adds a layer of quiet tension with a sound that is at times hypnotic and at times a tad jarring.
Delivery is refreshing in that Holt largely avoids high drama in favor of the everyday intimacies and real life experiences of these three characters. Rather than hyped up histrionics, Holt gives us genuine human drama with scenes of conflict that are birthed naturally from the situation that is unfolding. While the language is occasionally quite graphic, it is necessarily so and never feels manufactured or forced.
Delivery is currently on the film festival circuit and has already picked up an Award of Merit at Best Shorts while becoming an official selection at 2012 Action on Film and this past June at the Manhattan Film Festival. The film has also picked up a nomination for Best Ensemble Cast at Action on Film. Delivery should have no problem finding a home on the indie fest circuit, where its weaving together of a heartfelt and dramatic story along with its solid production values and rich characterizations will fit nicely within a block of dramatic shorts.
For more information on Delivery, visit the film's website linked in the credits to the left of this review.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic