Friday, March 30, 2007


This is a short dramatic piece centering on a fellow named Sean (Johnny Alonso) whose wife has just died, and we the audience get to experience his intense grief right alongside his best friend Adam (Clayton Myers) as Sean emotes endlessly out loud for the duration if the movie. Depending on your experience with death, this movie will hit you as a movie-watcher one of two ways. If you've ever lost someone suddenly that you care deeply about, you will no doubt identify with the kind of things that come out of Sean's mouth. Thoughts that would normally go unspoken are aired without hesitation between sniffles, sighs and hollow stares at the floor, often peppered liberally with the "f" word. The film doesn't let you get to know the deceased or let you in on too much about his relationship with her; the viewer is instead thrust headlong into Sean's grieving process and stays there, save for a couple quick flashbacks to happier times that reveal nothing about his wife's character. "The Passing" is powerfully written in terms of dialog and it is evident the filmmaker knows these emotions well, and Alonso's performance is certainly believable. If you've been through this, "The Passing" will ring true for you at least in some places.

But for those wanting more of a complete movie experience, this short will leave you feeling a bit unfulfilled. After all, it is but a piece of a larger story. If you fail to connect with Sean or his friend right away because you didn't get the benefit of knowing the deceased, you run the risk of experiencing the character's sadness the way the bar patrons and other movie extras do. You will feel like you're on the outside of what is happening and the movie will not affect you in the intended manner, instead feeling more like a vehicle for star Alonso to yell and cry and show off his acting skill while the others just kinda stand there and react to him. Adam, his girlfriend Mary (Lisa Rogers) and Sean's wife Annette (in the flashbacks) get much much less to do in the movie. Of all the performances, I actually found Rogers' to be the most affecting and realistic from my experience. When she cries looking at a photo of herself with Annette, I got all sniffly.

"The Passing" is an all-around top-notch production with appropriately moody music, fluid camera movement and professional lighting. Definitely one of the best-looking movies to come my way in a good while. You can watch it for free by going to right now. And while you're at it, check out Black Ink Films Myspace Page.