Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Signal

Originally uploaded by Jason O'Donnell
Mya, Lewis & Ben are caught in an unfortunate triangle. Mya and Lewis are married but Lewis is controlling and abusive and Mya wants out but can’t get out; Ben and Mya are having an affair and Ben wants her to leave Lewis. Sadly, as Mya goes home to debate this prospect a signal begins to be broadcast – this signal causes people to go mad and begin to kill others. Mya manages to escape Lewis who becomes victim to the signal but Lewis and Ben both begin to fight their way through the destruction in order to find her first.

Until just a few weeks ago I had no idea that The Signal was done by three directors. Three directors on one film is quite a feat; each director chose to focus on one act of the film focusing on one different main character for each act. I have to say that for such an interesting story and production that The Signal is really pretty well done, but not perfect.

What spoils The Signal from being a really great movie is the second act of the film. Act two focuses on Lewis, the abusive husband and his search for Mya. He encounters a few survivors who don’t appear to be affected by the signal and don’t realize that he had been. The tone of act two is very corny, poppy and tongue-in-cheek – very different than the gritty, emotional feel of the first and last acts and it honestly pulls you out of the world of the film. If act two were more tonally fitting with the other acts The Signal would have a shot at being a great film.

This also brings up problem two with the second act – Lewis. Lewis is a completely unlikable character and he is the staple in the middle of the film. I was completely uninterested in his journey. He only worked as a one-dimensional villain, and act two did not do anything to develop him further, it just made him less interesting. It also took the audience out of the world that was falling apart, the world the signal was creating and what we really wanted to see.

Mya was played by Anessa Ramsey. I’ve never seen her in anything before, but I have to say that I loved her performance and her character. I felt she was the biggest draw for the audience in the film. I would love to see her in something else.

Using the talents of more than one director is hard, but it’s worth watching. I do recommend The Signal. I found it a very entertaining film and one I will probably watch it again.

Directors & Writers David Bruckner, Dan Bush, & Jacob Gentry
Mya Denton: Anessa Ramsey
Lewis Denton: AJ Bowen
Ben Capstone: Justin Welborn
Clark: Scott Poythress

Ben: Clark, I don't know who or what started it, but we all sure as shit signed up for it. We made ourselves vulnerable. When Mya left last night, I turned the TV back on and there it was. It was replacing my thoughts. But then the sun came up. I see it. It's a lie. The signal; it's a trick. Change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.

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