Julia Rae Maldonado, Jeff Gorcyca
Chelsea B. Lockie
Michael Lamarra, Julia Rae Maldonado
Tara (Julia Rae Maldonado) is a bored stoner without much going on.
Andy (Jeff Gorcyca) is her boyfriend.
Filmed just after the pandemic lockdown, Chelsea B. Lockie's just shy of eight-minute short Let's Leave the Planet! is part stoner flick, part sci-fi, and nearly all an endearing, engaging short film about the complexities of relationships and their absolute unpredictability.
When Andy makes an unexpected announcement, Tara isn't quite sure if something is up or if she should actually believe him. The fact that we, the audience, don't exactly know if we should believe him is what gives Let's Leave the Planet! its comic edge and dry, matter-of-fact humor delivered sublimely by Jeff Gorcyca as Andy in a role that never made me quite laugh out loud but had me smiling throughout its just shy of eight-minute running time.
The film is co-written by Maldonado with Michael Lamarra and it works quite nicely as a low-budget indie short with heart, humor, and a little mystery. Maldonado helps to give the film emotional resonance as Tara, a young woman who's already questioning her relationship choices before Andy makes his big announcement.
Afterward? Well, you'll just have to see it for yourself.
Chelsea B. Lockie obviously has a clear vision for the tone needed here and the end result is spot-on. There's a quiet poignancy here - no small challenge given the film's lightly absurd dialogue and otherworldly tone.
Lamarra lenses the film and I must say that Let's Leave the Planet! is a beautiful film to behold. Even production areas that normally fall a bit short in the indie world are surprisingly strong here with Nick Rumaczyk's sound being particularly worthy of note.
While Let's Leave the Planet may not break a lot of new ground, what it does it does memorably and is a joy to watch from beginning to end. If you get a chance to check it out at an indie fest near you, I definitely recommend it.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic