Directed by: Andrew Huggins
Written by: Andrew Huggins
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The term independent, micro-budget film has changed a lot during the last decade. Even five years ago, a good and watchable micro film would be considered a splendid success. Now days, that same film would be considered sub-par at best. Technology, and the people using it, are changing so fast and becoming incredibly affordable for almost anyone. Making a movie now-days is getting to be as common place as learning to take a picture. So why bring this up at all? I'm simply painting a picture of today's indie film, and solidly writing that "Goodman" is an above average one. Even by today's saturated standards. Had this title been made five years ago, it would have easily earned a five. In today's ocean of mediocrity, having an indie film rate above the average mark is one splendid feat - in my books anyhow. So what's the "Goodman" story Andrew Huggins, who wrote and directed this film, trying to tell us? Apparently it's a rendition of a classic story written in 1835. I'm not familiar with the story myself, but had no problem following along with most of the film. Everything in this story, in a veiled sort of way, comes down to faith. Faith in God, faith in man. Only in "Goodman" our leading character is smartly shown to end up thinking that faith in God is a futile exercise. At least to his immediate peers. A more accurate representation would be to write that faith in man, is the true problem. Imagine learning that someone you deeply loved was in fact a serial killer. Now imagine that everyone else you respected was in league with them, in one form or another. By "everyone" I mean everyone. Would this not pick away at your faith in good? Old sayings come to mind: If it feels good do it, or everyone else does it and we're fine. Now, I'm not writing that "Goodman" has anything at all to do with a serial killer. It actually has nothing at all to do with one. Unless you consider Lucifer a serial killer. This is a short film involving faith; yet the same overall idea I wrote above remains. A religiously upright and moral person would quickly second guess their life decisions, if they suddenly became the local minority. That's the essence of this film. Take the hard road or take the easy, common-place avenue. In a sense, this film embodies a realistic look at peer pressure, with the devil taking the helm. At least, this was my interpretation.
The one thing I noticed when watching was that my mind kept racing ahead of the plot. Twisting and turning and trying to figure out what was what. I understood who Luci was, that wasn't a hard one, yet I really kept trying to figure out where this was all leading. This was both a good and bad thing as I found my mind wandering, and had to go back to see what I missed. Yet it was good in the sense I was thinking about the movie, and good enough that I "wanted" to back-track a little. Chip White was good enough in his role of Luci to add a sense of sinister drama to this title. As for Benjamin Harter-Murphy in the title role, let's just say he did a great job as someone with a life changing decision ahead of him. What I truly did appreciate was how the dialog cheats it's way into your mind. Especially Luci's character. Words seem very carefully crafted at times. I'm not sure if this is the source material at work, or all from Andrew Huggins himself. Either way, it worked out nicely. Quite well actually.
"Goodman" is a serious film. Maybe a little flawed simply because it's so serious. Then again, anything involving Lucifer himself must take that leap of faith. Keep it straight laced or give it a comedic snap right? I don't think the comedy route would have worked, so there really was only one choice. As this short film ends, you may find yourself with a few questions. Both for the movie, and of a personal nature. Myself? I think a little more clarity in those last segments would have been great. As a full film I was clearly not disappointed. As a matter of fact? I went ahead and Googled the source material. What better compliment to a movie could there be?