Directed by: Christiano Dias
Written by: Christiano Dias
Genre: Drama / Comedy
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The Commies are coming, the Commies are coming! Four words that may now seem like an odd funny catch phrase, once really scared the hell out of a nation. Not only did the cold war shape U.S. foreign policy, it also had a massive effect on almost all domestic affairs. Americans of the time had long feared radical subversion, and these fears had been used to justify normally unacceptable political behavior. What can quite easily be used for humor now days, a long running cliche of hilarity, was once something never to be joked with. A massive, scary situation that could, if not dealt with in an extreme way, bring forth the end of freedom.
"Hurricane" is an interesting short film where the daffy dialog and and unusual characters weave their paranoia into some good, but dark offbeat humor. This is some great stuff here and Corey Page, who sets the story in motion, delivers an intense and crazy performance as Oslo Alduars. Husband of the slightly off-kilter Eva, portrayed by Lisa Roumain. These two crazy cats sit down for a dinner and some radio time, as our director Christiano Dias goes about setting the stage for the wacky situation that follows. It's a great lead-in as he tries to explain how this man and this woman end up where they find themselves by the ending scene. At one point the discussion turns to rumor. A half baked conspiracy theory regarding a microphone and a neighbor's radio. This, of course, sets things up for our unlucky newspaper salesman, who picks the wrong door to knock on, at the very worst time. Before you can say "Communist" our salesman, played excellently by David Jay, is backed in a corner and desperately trying to convince these crazy people that he is, in fact, a simple salesman and not a spy. More of the plot I won't reveal but let me just say the energy is in the material. It wouldn't much matter if this production looked half as good as it actually does, the jokes are in the scripted dialog and the talented cast that deliver them so well. If you're looking for a "Three Stooges" kind of funny, it's not here. This is all tongue in cheek humor. Dark comedy that maintains it's potency because as much as we all think it's ridiculous now, we are aware that not so long ago it was considered the norm.
"Hurricane" looks pretty sharp for a low budget indie. Having a single shoot location has helped pave the way for an excellent running production. As hinted at above, the visual experience is complimented with some great performances from the cast. As this is a title that relies on the subtext for it's comedy, the casting was ever important and in this case, feels spot on. It would have been so easy to bury the comedy within the dramatic scenario. Making this film almost devoid of any humor. That surely didn't happen, but being completely honest, "Hurricane" as a straight laced drama would have probably worked as well. The line is just narrow enough for either styles to have been pulled off completely. I personally feel that as a hybrid piece however, Christiano Dias has hit the mark and ends up delivering a solid, entertaining short film.
Nicely executed with a fresh take on conspiracy fueled propaganda of decades past, "Hurricane" has no problems showcasing just how good a low budget film can be. Although the story could have been told in under ten minutes, you still won't feel winded once the credits roll. This is due to some excellent performances by the cast, and some nicely done production work. The jokes work to some extent but the real entertainment here is the scenario itself. Another "plus" for this title lies in it's simple but timeless point of view. You may find yourself asking how easily it would be for us, as a nation, to fall prey to this mindset all over again. Or maybe, just maybe it's not a matter "could" rather "when."