Thursday, July 16, 2015

9 Full Moons (2013)

Director: Tomer Almagor
Writer:    Tomer Almagor
Cast:       Amy Seimetz, Bret Roberts, Donal Logue

Frankie (Amy Seimetz) is an emotional train wreck, careening around East LA music scene drinking and getting lost with strangers. Lev (Bret Roberts) is a reserved and tormented soul. He drives a limo and aspires to work in the music business. Meeting in an after hour seedy nightclub, they embark on a roller-coaster relationship exploring what love is like for two quiet people who maybe 'damaged' beyond repair.

What is with number 9 and romance? I looked it up, in fact, and a numerology page which showed up first on the google search says that it is the number of universal love, eternity and faith. As for other films in similar genre, I could think of ' weeks', which I haven't seen, and Michael Winterbottom's '9 Songs', which I have. Roman Polanski's 'The Ninth Gate' is not quite in the same genre but can be classed as an erotic mystery thriller. 

Coming back to 9 full moons, the gender roles of the characters are quite reversed during the initial parts of the film with Frankie taking more of the initiatives. Lev moves in with her and later gets a music gig to assist a famous country musician who is currently on a downward trajectory. As he gets busier with the assignment, a more traditional gender dynamics develop between the couple. It is quite difficult to describe what makes the film unique but I guess the behavior of its two protagonists is the best thing about it. Both of them are excellent in their roles, especially Amy Seimetz, who was also in Shane Carruth's 'Upstream Color'. Compared to that role, Frankie is kind of the opposite, especially in terms of the way she talks. I was expecting this film to be more of a mindfuck for some reason but it turns out to be quite a 'Feel Good' film. 

Overall it is a very good watch. The reasons for why they are like this is not made clear in the film until the end parts of it where some clues are given. It did feel a little more plot-driven than it should be and did raise my eye-brows during certain scenes- for eg; Frankie reacting in an angry manner when she finds him rummaging through her stuff, a very unsubtle and totally out of the blue scene where she looks longingly at a kid etc...Harry Dean Stanton also makes an appearance in the film as Lev's father in a cameo role. The film is worth checking out for its uniqueness and especially if you are a fan of films like 'Blue Valentine'. 

Rating: 4/5