Film Review: Molly

August 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

Released: 2014; Narrative Short; Written & Directed by: Craig Elrod; With: Byron Brown, Molly Karrasch, Jason Newman

Molly is a darling, hilarious piece of “shorted” filmmaking that is well-worth your time. Written and directed by Craig Elrod and produced by Michael Bartnett, the founders of Pepper Island Films, this little movie packs a lot of bang for its narrative short buck.

Molly’s lovely, dewy face sits paralyzed by sadness and framed in close-up during the first 30 seconds of the film. She then, quietly and with little fuss, walks away. Molly’s ex-boyfriend, whose name we never quite come to learn, begins to oafishly cry, a cry that continues for the next several scenes, while he drives in his car, while he stands in line in a convenience store, and while he sits in a dive motel, the Seashell Inn Motel, to be precise, on the edge of a bed, in the dark. As the sun rises on the “best view in the bay” advertisement slapped on the side of the Seashell, we see that he’s still crying. It’s at this juncture that Molly’s ex-boyfriend’s partner-in-crime shows up, a dear friend whose goal it is to work him through this difficult time, to lend an ear, to follow suit, to soothe.

Together the two young gentlemen work out the smoothest way to navigate a break-up. There might be a break-down, either obscene food consumption or intense starvation, and possible a foam party. It’s as simple as that.

Byron Brown and Jason Newman, as Molly’s ex and his buddy, are a real joy, full of total commitment, sly delivery, and wicket comedic timing. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, hilarious. Molly Karrasch’s titular Molly is lovely, quiet, apologetic, and heart-breaking.

The film is shot in black-and-white and, while it looks great, I get the very distinct feeling that the reason for this has so much more to do with allowing the comedy genius at work here to really shine. It’s an understated humor employed by this film, and, as such, it needs a clean canvas, with very little visual frenzy, to allow for the real weight of what the two yahoo main characters are up to.
Molly is a little nugget, a real peach of a film, that had me chuckling (knowingly?) and shaking my head at the end.

– Leah Gehlsen

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