Now playing on Amazon Prime, and winner of several prominent science fiction film festivals is “The Fare” from star and writer Brinna Kelly.
A beautiful woman hails a cab in the middle of nowhere during a stormy night. What happens next, happens again, and again. Or does it?
An intriguing woman named Penny (Brinna Kelly) climbs into Harris’s (Gino Anthony Pesi) taxi in the middle of nowhere. With a friendly smile she makes pleasant conversation with the attractive driver and then suddenly disappears into thin air.
There is so much junk cinema out there in the contemporary film world it’s difficult to navigate to a film that is worthy of your time, especially one that is in the genre of science fiction and/or fantasy. “The Fare” is that rare gem that you come across either by luck or you have cool friends that share it with you.
Many films in this genre fail, even when they have massive budgets and “A” list actors attached. It’s a complete surprise to discover one that has a smart story, brilliant actors, and is executed perfectly.
You probably have never heard of Brinna Kelly or Gino Anthony Pesi who play the two main characters, but hopefully after this film we will see more of them in other prominent roles.
Because the primary story is based upon their character’s conversation(s) in a taxi you really get to see a wide range of emotional acting skill in their performance. The friendly getting-to-know-you banter, that is in essence done over and over (via what seems like a time loop) and yet, subtly different each time is where the genius comes in. Not only in the performances but also the writing. What could have been boring and monotonous is instead genuine and cleverly performed by the two.
This story has an aspect of time travel, and as it unfolds the actors make small adjustments. Without spoilers there are slight and little things that don’t make sense initially but in reality make perfect sense in context to the overall film. As a tiny example, both characters talk about modern singers, and yet Harris is driving an old timey cab. There’s a reason for that and many other nuanced decisions that were made in crafting this tale.
Lots of challenges for the actors to perform. In particular, Pesi’s character has to be entertaining, all from sitting in the driver’s position of a retro cab for the entire film. Remember Tom Hardy in “Locke?” Somewhat like that film, Pesi has to be convincing, compelling, charming, and captivating and he does that perfectly and with his co-actor sitting behind him (unable to always see how she is reacting).
Same goes for the actress in the back seat, Kelly. Nevertheless, the two play off each other like they have been acting for years and years.
What surprised me was the discovery that the writer of this film is also the star who plays Penny, Brinna Kelly. It’s unusual to see someone who can both act and write. Sort of like someone who can edit and write the film score, a rarity. They just don’t always go together which makes this title even more impressive.
I actually discovered a mutual contact and reached out to Kelly. She told me briefly that she made the film for $35,000, which is also astounding and just goes to prove you don’t need a massive budget of cash to make something that is quality. As an avid film festival goer, I’ve seen a lot of films made on a budget but rarely do you see one of this quality.
Including “execution” as a positive component of this film is crucial. There are many moving parts and a variety of personalities that have to come together to create a film. And then having it turn out with some degree of quality is a whole different level to subscribe too, especially with a limited budget.
The director, D.C. Hamilton, and the DP, Josh Harrison had to work double time to make a story told from the perspective of someone looking in from the windshield. Having such a limited set and the parameters to work within must have been super challenging for their production team. The choices they made in camera angles, perspectives, use of color, and shot sequences speak to a wealth of talent and experience not often seen in such a production. There’s a lot of individual talent that combined to create this outstanding film.
“The Fare” is a modern day example of what happens when you have a talented team who share a vision that can work well together. It all begins with good source material, and the script written by Brinna Kelly is as solid as they come. From there, having a smart director and director of photography who map out a creative way to visually tell the story (within the strict parameters that were required) play into the quality. And alongside that, having a talented cast that can bring you along for their ride in this captivating story is key to what makes this film not only solid and memorable, but also an achievement in visual storytelling. I can’t wait to see what any of them involved creates next.
- Smart Story Telling
- Compelling Shot Sequences
- Strong Acting from Superb Cast
- Does not have widespread appeal