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"The Run" is a riveting entry from Australian-born Tania Meneguzzi.
by Erik Sean McGiven on Oct 24, 2008
"The Run" is a riveting entry from Australian-born
producer/director/writer Tania Meneguzzi.
The film stars Alexandra Weaver ("Angel Wing") and David House
("How to Disappear Completely") as a struggling young couple seeking
excitement, bargains, and easy cash. The film begins with a flash-forward of
them going through customs as they attempt to remain calm and inconspicuous. The scene sets up the whole premise that
greed can suffocate dreams and that the consequences can be far worse than one
could have ever imagined.
They are a happy pair, in love and with hopes for a better
life. Amanda is a promising singer and
Rowly works at a bar where he pockets receipts for customer drinks. This is an edgy couple with a propensity for
dark-side misdeeds. They document their
life with bulletin board photos of their escapades as if it were the barometer
of their success. And when their close
friends Greg and Samantha, played by Guy Edwards and Kimberly Jaraj, tell them
about a drug smuggling operation in which they could make some quick cash they
jump at the opportunity.
The couple travels to Costa Rica and meets up with drug
dealer Akra and his partner Lil portrayed by Trey Farley ("Bend It Like
Beckham") and Marta Barrio. Given
an attaché case filled with small capsules of cocaine and instructions the
young couple takes to the task of swallowing them and heading back to
England. The trip does not go without
problems, but they are mostly of a gastronomical nature. At the airport custom officials add to the
tension as they survey arrivals and pull aside likely suspects for
questioning. Most unsettling is the
intuitive custom inspector played by Philip Delancy as he knows the tricks of
the trade and how drug mules operate. He
knows it's a numbers game and when the profile fits, he investigates. And the crux of the story is not whether Amanda
and Rowly will be caught but when.
Auteur Tania Meneguzzi hits all the right buttons in this
film setting up what might have been against the tragic descent into
oblivion. The addiction in this story is
a combination of greed, thrills, and drugs.
Together they make for a compelling mix that pulls you into this story
then accelerates to its surprise ending.
The two leads are a brilliant bit of casting as they play the
double-edged sword balancing hopeful dreams against their addictive desire for
money. The structure to the story is
inventive and the way events, especially of the trafficking, are compressed
with varying perspectives. The film is a
little slow in getting into its true mission, that of being drug mules, but
maybe the good qualities of these characters needs to be firmly established
before they can fall from grace. We care
about these two characters and that's what makes the story so intriguing and
The production values are first rate, especially the airport
scenes with custom officials. Editing,
sound, and photography are professionally done and bring the story to the
screen with considerable integrity. The
drug trafficking scenes have a gut wrenching tension filled with what ifs, just
abouts, and oh no's. Tan Tucag's music
ups the ante involving us even more in the dilemma of these two characters. And while their crimes are of a despicable
nature, we care enough to wish that somehow they would find another way out of
this mess. "The Run" is
fascinating trip into world of drug smuggling, its addictive aspects as well as
its tragic repercussions.
CREDITS: Stars Alexandra Weaver, David House, Neil Newbon,
Trey Farley, Philip Delancey, Kimberly Jaraj, and Marta Barrio.
Writer/Director/Producer, Tainia Meneguzzi; Neil Stapley, Richard Barlow, Annie
Ben, Executive/Co-Producers; Steven Priovolos, Director of Photography; Melanie
Leblond, Editor; Laura Lopez, Production Designer; Paul Sheeky, Sound; Tan
Tuncag, Music. Produced by ZZ
Productions Ltd., London. Running Time
is 86 Minutes.
April 8, 2020