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DOWNEAST (2021)
Downeast poster

CAST
GREG FINLEY
DYLAN SILVER
DENNIS COCKRUM
KIRK FOX
JAY GIANNONE
JOSS GLENNIE-SMITH
JOE HOLT
JUDSON MILLS
PAMELA ROYLANCE
SPENCER WATSON
GARETH WILLIAMS

STORY BY
GREG FINLEY

SCREENPLAY BY
JOE RAFFA

CINEMATOGRAPHY BY
EDWIN PENDLETON STEVENS

EDITED BY
MEREDITH MANTIK

MUSIC BY
AARON BAGLEY

PRODUCED BY
GREG FINLEY
CORY PYKE

DIRECTED BY
JOE RAFFA

GENRE
CRIME
DRAMA

RATED
AUS:NA
UK:NA
USA:NA

RUNTIME
NA

 

 

 

 

 

Downeast image

A unique Maine setting plays backdrop to a familiar crime tale in Downeast, a handsomely made and well performed film about revenge and redemption in small town America.

Los Angeles. New York. Chicago. Boston. When it comes to the American crime movie, these four cities are by far the most popular playgrounds for all kinds of illegal activities, establishing what we believe a crime movie should look like. Downeast changes that perception. Set and filmed in Portland, Maine, this Joe Raffa (Dark Harbor) directed crime story wisely knows its location is its best strength, a small mariner town set in winter where everybody knows everyone, especially who not to mess with.

It is a reality that Tommy (Greg Finley) is reminded of everyday. A lobsterman and former boxer who works for his drunkard father George (Gareth Williams), Tommy keeps his business to himself, haunted by a past incident. That past soon catches up with him in the form of Emma (Dylan Silver), the sister of Tommy’s best friend who was killed a few years prior, and who Tommy has strong feelings for and she for him. When Emma asks questions as to who killed her brother, Tommy knows full well it will lead to Irish mobster Kellerman (Judson Mills). Now he must choose whether to stand up and fight, or stay the hulking silent nobody he has become.

The influences behind Downeast are apparent, with Elia Kazan’s 1959 masterpiece On the Waterfront the most obvious. Regardless, Raffa has made as solid a crime movie as they come, a film with stakes that while predictable to its genre, are never the less handled and utilised well, creating an engrossing crime thriller with an equally good love story at its centre.

Performances are also good: Greg Finley (a Maine local who conceived the films story) brings thar right mix of physical toughness and sentimentality to a character who is weighed down by the guilt of a bad decision that led to fatal consequences; Dylan Silver portrays her character with on-key naivety and inner-toughness as she navigates a seedy underbelly of killers and junkies, while displaying strong chemistry with Finley; and Judson Mills effectively plays the menacing Irish mobster who hordes over his small town Maine kingdom with intimidating force.

Crisp photography by Edwin Pendleton Stevens (Film Fest) truly portrays the ice-cold chill of this Maine town midst winter season, while the use of real locations again brings forth the character and rugged charm of the films setting. The film is paced well and holds the audiences attention throughout. Downeast is not a unique crime story, but it is one told with skill and craft.

 

***1/2

 

 

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