Review: Anchorage (2021 San Diego International Film Festival)

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Title: Anchorage
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Scott Monahan
Starring: Scott Monahan, Dakota Loesch
Runtime: 1 hr 22 minutes

What It Is: Two brothers embark on a cross-country drug run from Florida all the way to Alaska, fueled by the very cargo they are carrying. When the trip doesn’t go as planned…particularly the part around California tragedy might JUST be around the corner.

What We Think: Abandoned homes littered in graffiti and carved out of humanity seem in abundance along the road followed by Jacob (Scott Monahan) and John (Dakota Loesch). The brothers utilize the structures as temporary shelters on their drug run from Florida to Anchorage, Alaska, a visual that is in line with the desolate backdrop of the entire film. Yet the film supersedes its lack of additional characters or sweeping views and memorizes in its raw view at drug-induced madness. Younger brother Jacob seems to be chasing his idolization of older brother John, his sense peaking through at times of utter frustration with his self-destructive sibling. The longer they spend together in the confined car, interludes of scripture filling voids, seems to only draw out more evils from each brother till a moment that proves that even blood isn’t stronger than addiction.

Our Grade: B, The weight of carrying the audience’s attention for over an hour on two characters’ constant conversation seems immense, yet Anchorage accomplishes just that. The film delves Into dialogue after dialogue that captivates the ear and mind in a way that is difficult to explain. The rapid pace of John’s constant gaslighting of his younger brother Jacob is fascinating even in its tragedy, as both brothers seem reliant on each other in a way that defines the darkness of addiction. The film choosing to only include two characters forces the audience to empathize with the brother’s plight and history that led them to seek a desperate choice. The audience rides with them, are privy to their pain, their humor, their bond, and yet the fact that they exist in addiction is never forgotten, but seen as an outcome of a difficult life.

Reviewed by your Melanin Gifted Movie critic at the San Diego International Film Festival.

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