by Martin Hafer
The Mix is an indie film with a modest budget. Because of this, I hold it to a different standard that I would a big Hollywood blockbuster. And, as an indie comedy, it has a few rough spots…but only a few. And, most importantly, the film really delivers when it comes to laughs and originality!
Chris Mollica (who also stars in the film) and Greg Townsend direct The Mix and their jobs were greatly enhanced by having some really terrific supporting actors in the movie…as well as a very clever script. In fact, I think these might be what I liked best about The Mix. Chad Jamian is simply perfect as the leading man’s sidekick and offers everything you’d want from such a comedic role. He’s kinda wimpy, kinda nerdy and always injects levity into the film whenever it starts to get too serious. I also was extremely impressed by Brian Silliman who plays a most unconventional villain. Silliman plays Joshua Vandersteem…a completely unethical businessman who also is a complete know-it-all jerk. So, when the film begins and Vandersteem is taken hostage by Sal and Tim (Mollica and Jamian), it becomes obvious that Vandersteem is the one in control of the situation…like a cat toying with a couple of mice! In many ways, it’s reminiscent of the wonderful O. Henry story The Ransom of Red Chief….where kidnappers abduct a child who is so evil and so awful the criminals end up paying his parents to take him back by the end of the story! While this is not where The Mix goes, it does go some very strange and unexpected places.
So why would Sal and Tim, two nice law-abiding guys, end up kidnapping a rich businessman anyway? Well, the viewers actually have no idea through much of the film. It begins with Vandersteem already being abducted…and it’s up to you to figure out why as well as what’s going to happen next. And, it all somehow relates to cookies! I really don’t want to say more about this, as it would spoil the fun…and there is a lot of fun in this quirky little comedy.
At this time, the film is playing on the film festival circuit and I’ll be sure to update you with when the film becomes widely available. And, speaking of festivals, The Mix just took home an impressive award at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival…Best Feature Screenplay. So apparently I’m not the only one who really liked the story!Share: