Ray Calleja, Aaron Akinyemi, Faye Elise Bennett, Solly McLeod, Amy Scarlett, Celia Learmonth, Barnaby Loveday Wilks
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Movie Review: I Feel Fine
In writer/director Brenden Singh's ultra-low budget indie feature I Feel Fine, seven friends gather for a "goodbye" meal. Sparks fly when one of the friends, Cyril (Ray Calleja), makes an announcement that results in high drama and violent arguments.
While it's not unusual for an ultra-low budget indie to cross my desk, I am The Independent Critic after all, it's always a bit unusual when that claim to be "low budget" actually is a truly low budget film. Filmed in one room for less than £450, I Feel Fine wears its grassroots on its cinematic sleeves and will likely not appeal to those for whom a multiplex is the only place to see a movie.
However, for those who embrace thetruly indie side of cinema, I Feel Fine is an intriguing film with a script that engages and challenges. Borne out of Singh's mid-2020 pandemic fueled struggles, I Feel Fine is a tension-filled, dialogue heavy 80-minute feature with characters I didn't particularly care about (or for) but who were captivating nonetheless. Serving as the bridge to everything that unfolds here, Calleja shines even during those times when I struggled with the film itself. This group of friends includes Jack (Aaron Akinyemi), Emily (Faye Elise Bennett), Holly (celia Learmonth), Lily (Amy Scarlett), Alfie (Barnaby Loveday Wilks), and Ryan (Solly McLeod, House of the Dragon). This is a passion project for sure and proof positive that much can be accomplished even with no budget if you build your creative network as Singh has done here.
Adina Nelu's original score companions the film quite nicely and Mandy Kershaw's production design travels the journey from comfortable to jarring to suspenseful and all the way around again.
This indie project debuted in March 2022 in London and is currently available on Amazon Prime Video, TubiTV, and Plex. While I had my struggles with the film, I Feel Fine is definitely a film for those who appreciate the more challenging, experimental side of cinema and a terrific way to support an up-and-coming filmmaker. If you can get into sync with its rhythm, I Feel Fine is thought-provoking and fiercely provocative.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic