WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
First, the Recap:
If charged with the duty to arrange love, to bring two people together, to fan the flame of desire and yet be denied pursuing it yourself, would it not drive you mad? When someone has now entered your life for a long period of time, feelings emerge, and the heart grows ever fonder, yet to truly be close is not possible, what cross is this to bear? On a day like any other to all others around, an office worker, Mary (Kerry Bennett), attempts to hold the phone conversation she is having at an acceptable level within the confines of her cubicle, even as the party she is speaking with, Elias (Joe Absolom), seems to be in the process of breaking her heart.
An ever increasing intensity begins to dominate their words as Elias weaves a tale as to why, even though they haven’t even met once in person, Mary and he can never be together despite the more than evident indicators of how she feels about him and he towards her. Working a job where a higher authority won’t condone such relationships, much to the laborer’s consternation, there are times when they choose the hard way out, as Elias had to do with a fellow worker, Abner (Bill Hutchens), rather than allowing the pain of separation to continue. Desperation sets it as Mary pleads for their love, flashback images bring revelations to light, and Elias looks to a drastic resolution, even as two of his compatriots, Longbaugh (Fraser James) and Parker (James Kermack), arrive.
Then, only one question remains–does love speak louder than duty?
Next, my Mind:
Delivering an excellently conceived blend of drama, romance, and supernatural fantasy elements, writer/director/co-producer Mark J. Blackman’s 15-minute short film displays all the hallmarks of a feature film quality production while likewise presenting an intriguing, emotional, and intelligent narrative that leaves you as a viewer completely satisfied yet pining for continuation of the story via its intentionally enigmatic, smartly executed finale. With only hints, blatant as they might seem, as to exactly what Elias, Abner, Longbaugh, and Parker actually are is part of the film’s genius, as all we can tell for absolute certain is that they aren’t exactly from around here. Absolutely beautiful, crystal clear, smoothly shot cinematography combines with an effective music score and some fantastically done SFX to create, as mentioned above, the kind of finished product that really is begging for feature film treatment. We can only hope!
Absolom is perfect in his role as Elias, giving the character a compelling, convincing, and impactful synthesis of deeply rooted, genuine sentiment towards Mary while also illustrating the inner torment he is facing in loving her, trying not to be overcome by his own sense of desire for a normal and joy filled life, even as the burden of his sworn obligations also weigh on him. Bennett is no less passionate in her performance as Mary, a woman driven by this same love for a man she hasn’t even met, still adamantly insistent in them being together, and willing to do almost anything to see it come about. She carries some hesitations, given the still-vague confessions Elias provides to her, yet cannot bring herself to think they have no chance, despite Elias stating otherwise. There is an interesting twist to their story, but this is a spoiler-free zone, so—sorry folks!
Solid supporting turns are provided here by Hutchens as one of Elias’ voluntarily ill-fated cohorts along with James and Kermack as two more of Elias’ fellow beings bent on stopping his actions, while actually putting their own loyalties and sense of duty to the test. Ceejay Sargent also makes an appearance as Mary’s supervisor at work. In total, “Neon” is yet one more impressive, first-class indie film effort that’s more than earned its stripes for quality writing, acting, visual presence, and exceptional overall execution. It’s a tale of heartfelt love, the pain of choices, and the opportunity many don’t ever get–a second chance.
As always, this is all for your consideration and comment. Until next time, thank you for reading!