Year Released: 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 29 minutes
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A lone figure stumbles down a deserted highway. He is wearing a tie and a very bad mustache. Voices on the soundtrack fill us in on the plot up to this point: A truck driver has crashed into a laundermat. A team of insurance people decide to create a fictional victim and file a false claim, which will net them millions of dollars.
We learn that Blanston (Ritcher), the fellow walking down the highway, was recruited to create the fictional Giegass, a double amputee who just had the misfortune to be in that laundermat. Blanston, we also learn, is a die hard D&D player, skilled at creating identities and more interested in the game than the money.
A truck roars out of nowhere, and Blanston finds himself being accosted by the vulgar and money obsessed Chris (Kelly). He wants his cut, and he wants it now. The cool, older Stephen (Sealy), who has called this meeting in the middle of nowhere, calms Chris down and tells him that there is a problem. A typo on the social security number, nothing big, but enough to call attention to their fraud.
Lydia (Chinisci), the fourth conspirator and Chris’s girlfriend, arrives late. There is much debate from them regarding the seriousness of the typo…as well as suspicion that this is all a scheme cooked up by Blanston and Stephen to bilk them out of their money. Nobody trusts anyone. A crucial phone call will decide their fates.
“Blanston” is a taut, well written little film that needs to be a big film. I wanted to see the birth of the fraud, the details that went into the planning of it, the execution, and then the downfall. I felt as if I had come into the last three quarters of the film. This is a compliment, by the way. I really wanted (and hope that I eventually do) to see more.
The actors have taken Winans well-written dialogue and crafted four very distinct performances; Ritcher, as the quiet game player who just wants a friend and finds one in the older Stephen; Sealy with his haunted eyes and weary resignation to his fate; Kelly with his bad temper and greed duking it out for control; and Chinisci, who has the grave misfortune to trust the wrong man at the wrong time.
Some of the dialogue reads better than it is spoken, but there are only a few times that happens. Winans and company have made an exceptional little thriller that is unexpectedly touching; I highly recommend seeking it out.
Posted on May 6, 2003 in Reviews by Dean Edward
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