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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Max Azulay, Arish Sahani, Neena Sahani, Kate Eastman
DIRECTED BY
Matt Porter
SCREENPLAY
Matt Porter, Max Azulay, and Phil Primason
RUNNING TIME
30:35
IMDB PAGE

 "More Perfect Union" Review 
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Hank (Matt Azulay) takes off after a fight with his girlfriend (Kate Eastman), landing at a quaint bed-and-breakfast previously planned as a getaway for the young couple. Hosted with great attentiveness by an elderly Indian couple, Sabir (Arish Sahani) and Neha (Neena Sahani), Hank's presence in advertently leads to a major fight for the seemingly idyllic couple.

Directed by Matt Porter (Gunderson's), More Perfect Union is a simple and straightforward 30-minute short brought to life beautifully thanks to the winning performances of its ensemble cast and the natural dialogue of co-writers Porter, Azulay and Phil Primason.

Azulay, who gave an appealing performance despite a largely unbelievable character in Gunderson's,  is marvelous here in creating a character who is both flawed yet so remarkably endearing that you'd enjoy spending far more than 30 minutes with him. Azulay sort of brings to mind a blending together of Justin Long with early John Cusack, sort of the "ordinary joe" you'd have found in the late 80's teen and young adult flicks who would always get the girl in the end.

Arish Sahani and Neena Sahani are terrific as the squabbling married couple, whose differences from Hank aren't so much cultural as they are birthed out of maturity and life experience. Kate Eastman, as Hank's girlfriend, shows up late in the film yet leaves a strong impression.

The film benefits greatly from Andrew Ellis's expert lensing, at times turning even the simplest shot into one that leaves a surprising depth of feeling. It appears that both Ellis and Porter are patient in their work, allowing images and words to linger long enough that an audience can savor them but not long enough that they wear out their welcome. Original music from Ian Davis and Gabriel Gall quietly undergirds the film's light touches of humanity and humor.

More Perfect Union is the perfect length to allow viewers to really enjoy and appreciate these well developed characters, but also short enough that the film's simple story doesn't become tiresome or repetitive. With an abundance of heart and humor, Matt Porter along with his cast and crew have constructed a rather sweet and memorable slice-of-life film.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic
    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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