Review by Sean Boelman
The Fare, directed by D.C. Hamilton and written by and starring Brinna Kelly, is a new mystery film set entirely in a taxicab. Although it does become a bit melodramatic at times, an interesting concept and some surprisingly witty dialogue allow for this to be a mostly refreshing and intriguing ride.
The movie follows a cabbie as he discovers that he is stuck in a time loop, picking up a woman in a rural area only for her to disappear and the loop to reset itself. Like many movies centered around time loops, the world-building of this one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and when the obligatory exposition is delivered to attempt to explain what it happening, it isn’t particularly satisfying.
However, the first half of the film, during which everything is still shrouded in mystery, is extremely compelling. Unlike most similar movies, the destination of this story isn’t entirely obvious from the get go, and while the mythological allusions being made are a bit too on-the-nose for the film’s own good, they still serve the movie somewhat well.
If there is something that needed to be improved significantly in this movie, it is the pacing. Although the middle section moves quite well, it takes a bit too long for the film to get off the ground, and the end feels a bit rushed. Clocking in at under an hour and a half, there was plenty of time for the resolution to be done in a more satisfying way.
Perhaps the main reason that the movie works so well is that the character development is quite strong. Even though the intro section does run a bit long, it does a good job of making the audience invested in the characters. This is particularly important as the film switches from being a straight mystery in the beginning to a mystery-romance later.
The two lead actors in the movie, Gino Anthony Pesi and Brinna Kelly, are both relatively strong. Their chemistry together is entirely believable, particularly during the more playful moments in the film, and this is a significant part of what helps the emotional moments resonate. There are a few scenes in which Kelly’s delivery feels a bit artificial, but these eventually come to make sense.
On a technical level, the movie is quite strong. Like many single-room thrillers, the film does a good job of making the audience feel trapped within the setting, in this case, a moving vehicle. A few CGI shots cause the movie to show its budget, but the film’s use of color and its solid production design help disguise its very independent nature.
Though it isn’t perfect, particularly in the end, The Fare is a surprisingly enjoyable romantic thriller. Audiences will likely be surprised by the movie’s intelligent script and the great chemistry between the stars.
The Fare is now available on VOD.