DIFF 2017: “MUSTANG ISLAND” REVIEW

I always like discovering new comedies when it comes to movies, especially independent comedies. This past weekend I had a chance to see Mustang Island, a film by Director Craig Elrod. Mustang Island is part of the Texas competition in this year’s Dallas International Film Festival. Its also the feature film version of Craig’s short film “Molly”.

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Kickstarter

The story is about Bill (Macon Blair), who suffers a break up and wants to win his girlfriend back. Bill and his friends decide to head for Mustang Island, which is a little beach town where she might be.

The comedic timing in the film is great, and Bill’s expressions dealing with everything that is going on are priceless. But I think for me, what makes this film standout, is just some of the random store moments where Bill and his brother John (John Merriman) buy a bunch of bottles of champagne to just drink some of their emotions away. Or, even their friend Travis (Jason Newman), who is a pretty random acting character that breaks any awkward tension that is going on in a scene.

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The Austin Chronicle

Another aspect of the film that really worked was that it was shot in black and white. Now, I might be a little biased because I do enjoy when some films are shot that way, but it definitely worked well with Mustang Island. It kind of reminded me of the 2013 Oscar Nominated film, Nebraska.

One more thing to point out is the cinematography. The cinematography was great, too. I loved the shots of the beach, including shots of their beach house. There weren’t too many location shots, but there didn’t need to be. The beach, I feel, is a good setting to have. I sort of took the beach as a metaphor for maybe the rockiness of some of the drama that was going on. I am not sure if that might have been something Elrod and his crew were going for, but it spoke to me like that.

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FestWorks

All in all, this is a fun comedy to watch and a must see for 2017.

Charlie Vann

@charlievan88

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