Directed by Maryanne Paterson
Starring Stinga T, Ezra Juanta, Maha Wilson & Kylie Farma
Indie film review by Monica Jowett
Relationships of all kinds are all put to the test in this Australian independent drama from director Maryanne Paterson as a group of friends have to overcome old and new issues amongst themselves. Friendship, Love & Loyalty is a story of a friendship which swears to never have anything come between it, but life makes other plans.
Set in a small Australian town, the indie film opens with a scene of two best friends making a pact of a loyal friendship; we see that this has not changed over the years, as we meet Nate (Stinga T) and Nathan (Ezra Juanta) as adults. However, Nate has just broken up with Denise (Kylie Farma) and travels abroad for a year to clear his head. Back in Australia, Nathan has had an accident which has caused terrible memory loss and he forms a close relationship with his best friend’s ex, Denise.
When Nate comes back to Australia, a love triangle forms and he finds his plans to win back his ex-girlfriend thwarted as he has to stand alongside his friends to keep Nathan from falling apart. Happiness returns to all of them, as Nate starts to fall for Bianca (Maha Wilson) though it may not last, as feelings for Denise still linger.
The script, written by lead actor Stinga T, has some twists and emotional scenes as people’s memories and secrets come to light. However the revelations take a while to be revealed and it is hard to understand the whole back story for these characters.
Although the script may have been good on paper, the stilted delivery makes it less enjoyable for the audience. Despite the fact the cast are making an effort, the acting falls short as it’s hard to believe the tragedies they have gone through as it sounds as though they are just reading the lines simply to lead on to the next one. The majority of the dialogue doesn’t feel natural enough, despite the basic foundation of the story.
In the final act, the secrets and lies that were spread between the friends that were set up to protect Nathan fall apart and the emotions come tumbling out. With a predictable ending, Friendship, Love & Loyalty shows promise but comes apart by being overly emotional.