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Monday, April 25, 2016

Indie Thriller 'Fare' Debuts Newport Beach Film Festival

The powers-that-be at the Newport Beach Film Festival choose wisely in premiering the psychological thriller "Fare" from Bad Theology Pictures at Island Cinemas on April 26. 2016. This minimal budget film in which writer/director Thomas Torrey also stars  (and likely uses his own SUV) reflects the true spirit at an event that is designed to give new talent a chance to show his or her stuff.

The intriguing concept of "Fare" is that struggling residential real estate agent Eric drives for an Uber-style livery service at night to earn extra money in a tough housing market. In the type of coincidence that is common in movies and not so rare in real life, a customer early in the film gets Eric thinking about the nature of love and the related state of his not so happy 10 year-old marriage. Subsequent titular passenger/antagonist Patrick, whom Eric quickly recognizes as the land developer who regularly seals the deal with the commercial real estate agent to whom Eric is married, pays the price for Eric starting to analyze his life.

On a larger level, "Fare" provides good reason for trepidation regarding using Uber. Unlike professional cab drivers, the folks who provide that service lack any effective supervision and likely are not subject to rigorous background checks.

Like any good film, the conversation between the two stars starts out very chummy and even slips into guy talk until Patrick gets an increased sense of uber-danger (of course, pun intended). This relates to Eric going all-out taxi driver (again, pun intended) by unlawfully confining Patrick and continuing to drive him around.

The subsequent conversation reveals a great deal about both men and has nice humor that includes Patrick thinking that stating that he treats Mrs. Eric like a lady will create good will. Said fare later getting figuratively slapped down after acting like a sissy also produces a smile.

The tension between the characters decently escalates to a reasonable climax regarding that aspect of the film. Torrey then takes a figurative left turn in transforming "Fare" into a somewhat different type of film. It is as if Marty McFly of "Back to the Future" returns to his own time only to have a villain from his past adventure (of course, pun intended) suddenly appear out of nowhere and menace him in a manner that is only partially true to the film.

Torrey shows good creativity in filming "Fare" entirely in the aforementioned vehicle. He deserves additional credit for writing a screenplay with a strong live-stage production vibe. The kindest thing that can be stated regarding the acting of Torrey is that (like his character) should not quit his day job. The portrayal of Eric is so flat that he does not elicit any response from the audience. We can relate to someone whose wife is carrying on a long-term affair but neither feel sorry for Eric nor care about his fate.

Co-star J.R. Adduci does much better playing Patrick. This character has decent charm and overall responds to events in the same manner as a typical individual. He further presents a decent case for his affair.

The final analysis regarding this festival entry is that the concept and the character studies justify checking it out. It will hold your interests, and the flaws (like the central femme) are not fatale.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Fare" is welcome to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.