Jake Waring, Nicole Evans, Ruchika Jain, Grahame Edwards WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Lewis William Robinson MPAA RATING
NR RUNNING TIME
65 Mins. DISTRIBUTED BY
Independent OFFICIAL IMDB
Movie Review: Orchid Moon
Harry (Jake Waring) is a troubled soul in writer/director Lewis William Robinson's Orchid Moon.
Robinson isn't quick to reveal the roots of that trouble, though it's clear early on that Harry struggles with a particular incident involving the demise of a loved one, Clementine (Nicole Evans). Stuck somewhere between grief, guilt, and worsening mental health, Harry frequents a nearby pub where owner Geoff (Grahame Edwards) consoles him while occasionally enforcing some tough love in those moments when Harry's troubles get the best of him. Occasionally visited by Mrs. Chandra (Ruchika Jain), Harry's presence is an inconsolable one as he downward spirals into a complicated grief in which reality and fantasy are often interchangeable.
Shot in black-and-white by Matt Kerins, Orchid Moon is part psychological thriller and part meditation on the human experiences of grief, repression, and struggles with mental health. This is a thoughtful film, emotionally honest yet also contemplative in all the most satisfying ways. It helps, of course, to have an actor the caliber of Jake Waring at the front-and-center as Harry. Waring, at least for me, often brought to mind Mads Mikkelsen's remarkable performance in Another Round.
Whether finding solace in drink or being immersed in paranoia, Waring's Harry is always a likable chap who garners our empathy and commands our attention. There are glimpses of joy here, past and present, along with the expected moments of a despair so deep that only suicide would provide the needed relief. Waring performs both ends of the spectrum quite ably and Robinson packs an awful lot of story into this 65-minute feature film.
The further we go into Orchid Moon, the more Robinson reveals and this seemingly introspective film becomes much more as truths are revealed and narratives lived into. Among the supporting players, Jain and Edwards are particularly effective in matching Waring's dramatic rhythms. That said, this is a strong ensemble across the board.
The original score by Tom Althorpe is impressive throughout, a subtle yet emotionally resonant companion to Harry's quietly remarkable journey.
Told in a non-linear fashion, Orchid Moon is a compelling and poignant drama deeply rooted in one man's damaged soul and his efforts to reach out toward something resembling innocence and hope. Those with a penchant for the more experimental and vulnerable side of cinema will find much to love here.