Updated: Mar 10
Directed and Written by: #AndyKastelic
Short Film Review by: #ChrisBuick
As we watch a recently self-liberated convict surface from the depths of an algae ridden river in an attempt to elude the searching local authorities, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the opening few moments of Andy Kastelic’s Typhoon might be the precursor for a tense manhunt thriller. But rather than pursue that well-travelled road, Kalestic decides to take a sharp right turn to somewhere completely different.
After he decides to hunker down for the night in an abandoned building of no clear distinction, our aforementioned penal absconder Magpie (Forcinito) wakes up to a rather unique situation. With the distinctive charm and way with words perhaps typical of a person with experience being on the wrong side of the law, he playfully scolds the young boy that he finds elevated in front of him that the layman's noose tied round his neck isn’t really going to do the trick. But as a navy veteran, Magpie is happy to offer his services to help young Pete (Olson) get it right, in exchange for helping him with his own freedom.
Its a powerful film to be sure, Kastelic clearly has courage and belief as a filmmaker in the story he wants to tell. Young suicide, not to mention confessions of filicide are not ideas to be flippant with, but Kastelic does approach them with a good sense of respect and meaning, rather than simply trying to provoke. In Typhoon, what you get is a story of two very different people unified by the need to escape from something, and in turn both experience something like the father-son relationship they each never had.
But what really gives the film its weight are the performances. Olson’s Pete never utters a word, but his vivid expressions speak volumes, the anguish and heartache of his own troubled existence conveyed effortlessly through bruised eyes complete with a grit that almost immediately gains the respect of his older counterpart. Magpie as the flip side of that coin, manages to speak enough for the both of them and then some, and although the film perhaps overindulges slightly with his dialogue, Forcinito’s deeply layered portrayal gives great depth to a man who despite his at times pompous but always captivating bravado, manages to also show us a much more complex man struggling with inescapable demons.
Location seems to be key here as well, the setting of the cold ruined building alone in the desolate surroundings greatly echoes the loneliness and degradation these two characters feel epitomises their lives and the juxtaposing daylight setting gently offsets the sombre subject matter just enough to keep us smiling when we need to.
Kastelic certainly hasn’t shied away from some bold story choices and despite its murky beginnings, Typhoon is a affectionate tale about redemption and the varying ways people can look to escape the shackles that bind them.
Watch the trailer here: