Robert Lee Brown, Ashley Beloat, Antonio J. Medina
William P. Cook, Robert Lee Brown, David Huber
Movie Review: The Tragedy of Senator Abe Froeman
In William P. Cook's The Tragedy of Senator Abe Froeman, Tony Johnson (Robert Lee Brown) is a grieving widower whose loss becomes amplified when his son is caught in the crossfire of of the visiting senator's intentional killing. As the public openly grieves the senator, John's rage begins to build as his son becomes not much more than an afterthought. The story that follows, co-written by Cook with Brown and David Huber, is a thought-provoking thriller that feels both intimate yet universally relatable.
Brown gives a tremendous performance as Johnson, his quietly simmering rage occasionally let loose in such a way that you're never quite sure his motivations or his planned destination. At just over 17 minutes, The Tragedy of Senator Abe Froeman packs a whole lot into its running time yet somehow Cook makes it all work. It helps that Cook has a small but mighty ensemble led by Brown along with Ashley Beloat as Candice Williams and Antonio J. Medina's mesmerizing Drake Vega.
Cook lenses the film himself with an intensity that builds the anticipation throughout the film. While the story's framework is somewhat familiar, Cook never completely reveals his cards and we're never 100% certain where this is all going. Cook's lens keeps us captivated and always wondering what's next.
Original music by composer Kyle Piety and co-composer Arthur Sears also helps to heighten the film's dramatic impact and nicely captures the film's emotional rhythms.
There's much to love here in this indie thriller short that tells a story that feels complete yet also tells a story that could easily be expanded upon. These characters are intriguing throughout and I'd love to get to know them just a little bit more.
It can be difficult to create a truly effective thriller short. Heck, it can be difficult to create a truly effective thriller feature. Alas, Cook has done so with The Tragedy of Senator Abe Froeman with a story that keeps you engrossed and keeps you thinking about it long after the closing credits have scrolled by.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic