Edward Middle, Patrick Ryan, Lee Marshall
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
No Time to Change is a beautiful little film, a film that depressed the fuck out of me in its opening minutes only to somehow lead me through this wonderful journey through that despair and into a sense of clarity and light. It's a journey not unlike that of the film's central character, Edward Middle's Anthony, a grizzled soul of a man who sort of looks like a mixture of Joe Cocker meets Nathaniel Rateliff and whose sense of burn-out is strong and overwhelming. When Anthony calls longtime friend Seth (Patrick Ryan) to come and pick him up on the eve of a major concert tour after the release of his first album, it's clear that something is wrong.
Writer/director Youcef Beghdadi has crafted a simple, heartfelt story that works thanks to Beghdadi's terrific script and the performances he gets from his top notch ensemble cast.
There's simply not a weak link here. The film's atmosphere early on is gray and dingy, the watered out lensing of Felipe Collado and Abraham Mercado immersing the film and everyone in it in a world that feels tired and worn down. Yet, there's something still pretty wonderful about these characters and we keep watching them because we care about them. Patrick Ryan's Seth gets far more development than we usually expect from a secondary character, but part of that's also due to Ryan's insightful, intuitive performance that sort of possesses this quiet ache about it. You can't help but get a sense that everything he says is projection, but he's such an endearing guy you can't help but love him. There's a quiet little scene at the bar, Anthony having gone outside, and Ryan plays this out to such utter perfection that you kind of wish you got a little more time with him before film's end.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Lee Marshall's illuminating turn as Elysia, whose entire aura sort of reminded me of that of Marketa Irglova in the damn near magnificent film Once. While Elysia doesn't exactly do a whole lot in No Time to Change, I absolutely can't imagine the film without her. She's the perfect companion to get Anthony from where he is to where he needs to be.
The lensing in No Time to Change is absolutely sublime, subtle and not so subtle shifts that spark light and hope and psychological turns and more than a little inspiration. The film uses its lensing and its lighting to absolute perfection. The music is absolutely stellar from beginning to end courtesy of the remarkable Anthony Aramouni.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic