Title: Friends, Foes & Fireworks
Director: Sarah Jayne
Starring: Lara Deam, Whitney Duff, Asleen Mauthoor
Runtime: 1 hr 15 mins
What is it: Fiona has recently received a life-changing health diagnosis, so in an attempt to curb feelings of isolation and anxiety she hosts an NYE reunion with her closest female friends. However, not everything goes to plan. Old tensions surface, past rivalries are reignited, truths are told and sparks fly, forcing each of the women to reflect on and re-evaluate past decisions going forward into the new year.
What we think: It sounds simple. Go out on New Year’s Eve with your friends and enjoy whatever the night has to offer, right? According to this, only amateurs think that way. Packed with plenty of drama and secrets, this film was definitely interesting to watch. The cinematography was good, as was the sound, production design, and costumes. The lighting could have been a bit better during certain scenes but being that this film was shot in a day, it’s understandable as to why natural lighting was heavily relied on even if direct sunlight was a bit distracting from being able to see natural expressions on some of the actors. With this film being heavily improvised and unscripted, it did help to watch some of the behind the scenes footage to get a closer look at the characters and their intentions. Without the help of the behind the scenes footage, there was some confusion as to the relationship between some of the characters and why the characters interact with each other the way they do. There were some character relationships which I heavily questioned the existence of in the first place based on the behavior being displayed between them. When watching this film, some audience members may leave with a lot of unanswered questions but this is definitely a film which keeps you guessing. When it came to the story itself, watching this kind of felt like you were a fly on the wall at a family get together. Each character seemed to represent a different family member which you may or may not like and have to tolerate simply because they are family. However, one thing I did not expect from this film was the intellectual stimulation which was a nice surprise. It was refreshing to be introduced to certain characters and situations which made you question certain topics like sexuality and plastic surgery. Overall, this film was mentally and emotionally stimulating and one which I watched a few different times and each time managed to take away something else which I had not noticed the first time around.
Our grade: B, Tensions rise, sparks fly, and the truth is revealed. This film is one which will definitely spark emotions and leave you questioning your own perspective on certain topics which are globally controversial. This is the second film from Sarah Jayne of Nexus Productions I have seen and quite frankly, I am excited to see what other stories she decides to tell in the future.