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Director: Alec Toller
Synopsis: A cast of actors are put to the test when a prop goes missing on the opening night of their new play. The group plough forward in a sheer test of improvisation, poor anger management, scene stealing and pure creative wit. What results is a theatrical show like no other; sometimes funny, often times awkward and offensive and about as genuine as any show could be.
How bad could a missing prop be? That’s the question that Play, a film directed by Alec Toller asks. When a prop gun goes missing in the middle of a new play’s opening night, the actor’s take it upon themselves to improvise and make it work, much to the horror of their ego maniacal director. His dreams of cinematic social political stardom quickly disintegrate into a tale of conspiracy theories, ridiculous attempted murders, and legal espionage.
Play was excellent and offered a colourful cast of characters to deliver laughs, cringes and tonnes of plot twists. Audiences of this film are met with a young girl in brown face, a starlet who warps her whole personality to get into the role of her on stage persona, a scene stealing hot head who won’t stop throwing a wrench into the script of the play, and a randy old man playing the role of Bernie Madoff.
What really impressed me about Play was the fact that the film was so true to life on stage. Live audiences only ever tend to see the polished finished product, but what they don’t see are the power struggles and behind the scenes freak outs; the forgotten lines and the stress that can come from putting together a live show. The film really expresses that feeling and pulls no punches when it comes to the cringe inducing moments that so often come from being on stage.
The film style is somewhere between a docu-drama and a shakey-cam production. Where some films have been hurt by this realism, Play draws on it to provide a sense of immediacy that really compliments the writing.
There are scenes that come across as a bit awkward, drawn out and hard to watch, but when this movie catches it’s stride, it shines.
An interesting point to consider is that this Canadian production was made for just one grand. That’s right, $1,000 dollars. Having said that, the quality never waivers.
Despite the few short comings with the movie, Play is creative, exciting and brings in the laughs. It deserves to become a household name for Canadian comedy.
Check out Play at www.playthefilm.com and on twitter at @playthefilm2013