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Light and the Sufferer

Light and the Sufferer (2007) Movie Poster
USA  •    •  70m  •    •  Directed by: Christopher Peditto.  •  Starring: Paul Dano, Michael Esper, Anthony M. Bertram, Seamus Boyle, Eugene Byrd, Paul D'Amato, Paz de la Huerta, Omar Evans, Stephen Kunken, Darrell Larson, Angelica Page, Desmond Richardson, Robert Tuftee.  •  Music by: Mark Nelson.
      Two estranged brothers try to leave New York City for a new life in California but to find their plans --and lives-- forever changed by the appearance of a mysterious alien.

Review:

Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
Image from: Light and the Sufferer (2007)
We have here a story and film elements that seem to be going someplace but ultimately and unfortunately, everything -- story-line, motivation, emotional direction, all are left dangling and going nowhere.

We start with characters who are quite engaging with some very good acting by the two principals and even the minor characters are ably portrayed (except Light's girlfriend and her brother who are right out of college Acting 101). That said, as the film unfolds (or rather as the hard drive spins -- this is VERY low budget) nothing solidifies; the elements simply drift apart rather than together.

The director builds a kind of Waiting-for-Godot anticipatory tension and a palpable sense of frustration that pulls us in during the first 13rd of the film -- the brothers trying to start a better life in California -- and he does this very well. (SPOILER ALERT, although this is revealed in the synopsis) Then we add the element of a mysterious alien creature (is it real? is it symbolic? what's its purpose? is it a figment of the brothers' imagination? and finally, who cares), then add an amateur drugdrug money heist fiasco scene and from there everything veers into an ever-spiraling, chaotic vortex from which neither the director nor the writer were able to pull themselves, the characters or the viewer out of.

The last 23rds of the film simply do not work into any satisfying, cohesive "power of the whole;" for all the mystery of the alien "sufferers" and guardian angels, we are left with a void of any deeper meaning than "drugs-will-mess-up-your-life." If it weren't for Paul Dano and Michael Esper's engaging performances which keep one's attention, I am quite sure I wouldn't have watched this to the end.

Problem is, with a work like this that has such initial promise, it keeps you watching only in the hopes that all will be revealed -- the It's Got To Get Better syndrome -- but instead, you are just strung along and get REALLY disappoint you when you see the credit crawl.

The Sufferer," I am afraid in this type of effort in spades...it is the audience who is the real Sufferer. If it were truly a dog from the get-go, you would have been able to just walk away early on and save 70 minutes of your life.


Review by CinemaDude@aol.com from the Internet Movie Database.