'The Fare' [Blu-ray]
(Brinna Kelly, Gino Anthony Pesi, Jason Stuart, et al / Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Epic Pictures Releasing)
Overview: When a charming woman named Penny climbs into his taxi, Harris finds himself entranced. That is, right up until she disappears from the back seat without a trace.
As he desperately tries to make sense of what happened, he resets his meter and is instantly brought back to the moment she first climbed into his cab!
Blu-ray Verdict: Well, I have to say that I went into this viewing experience with a glass half full approach - having already read some reviews and knowing that it had a low, oh-so low budget - but truly enticed by the plot premise and intrigued by how the two lead actors would play off each other in such tight quarters re: a cab.
And my hopes paid off magnificently as 'The Fare' is one of the most inventive films that I've seen in the past decade (or more)!
The storyline just doesn't do the actual film justice at all, but it centers on an Hitchcockian romance, taking place on "Groundhog Day", buried deep within an episode of The Twilight Zone!
Filmed in both black and white and color, the shift between the two (without giving too much away) is dynamic when it happens, and instantly keeps you aware about which era you are in at that exact moment.
The sophomore feature from director D.C. Hamilton stars Gino Anthony Pesi ('Shades of Blue') as a weary cab driver named Harris and Brinna Kelly (who is also the writer) as his enigmatic passenger, Penny.
But there is so much more to this cab fare than meets the eye for when our cabby makes his late night/early morning pick up from the middle of dusty-ass nowhere, the mysterious fare, Penny, settles into the back seat and begins conversing.
Then, and after a suddenly flash in the sky and a burst tire, the cab careens to a choking halt and Harris suddenly realizes his beautiful passenger has disappeared!
Not knowing what to make of it all, trying to make sense of what has happened, he resets his meter, but is instantly brought back to the moment she first climbed into his cab!
And then there they both are, back to square one, her getting back into the cab for her journey ... but something is a little different this time!
As noted, I won't give too much away here as it's the journey taken (no pun intended) by our two leads that intriguingly pieces this captivating puzzle together over the 83 minutes.
For me, both lead actors most certainly brought their collective A-games to the project for they are both rather excellent here and helped make the storyline move along at a believable pace.
In truth, Pesi as Harris was a little wooden at the start with his responses to Penny's questions from the back seat, but he warmed up into the role just in time for me to be able to settle back in.
Kelly as Penny was just perfect from the off and her tone whilst conversing with Harris never wavered once throughout. She just gives, as did Pesi once settled, a natural performance that anchored the entire plot magnificently.
'The Fare' is never boring, keeps your attention, and has an ending (albeit a wee bit melancholy) that could so easily have let us down - but doesn't in the slightest. It was also not the ending I had assumed was coming, which was a lovely change of pace.
In closing, this film has been purposely created to exude a film noir ambiance and nails it perfectly within each and every scene. Ergo, 'The Fare' is, without a shadow of a doubt, going to become a cult classic within the ranks of all discerning filmgoers and critics alike.
Screenwriter and star Brinna Kelly reteams with director D.C. Hamilton following their work on his directorial debut 'The Midnight Man,' with Pesi, Hamilton and Kelly producing alongside Kristin Starns.
This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
Audio Commentaries: Director D.C. Hamilton and Writer & Star Brinna Kelly
Making Of Featurettes
Trailers & More!
D.C. Hamilton's Sci-Fi fantasy 'The Fare' from Epic Pictures Releasing is now available nationwide on Blu-ray and VOD.
Official 'The Fare' Order Purchase Link
Official 'The Fare' Trailer