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The Independent Critic

Hayley Richelson, Darren Marshall, Mark Paci, Garrett Hines, Kimberly Laurenne, Dylan Marshall, Rainard Rachele and Brian Meggs
Darren Marshall
82 Mins.
Distributed independently through Createspace and Robel Films
Special Features on the DVD: Deleted Scenes, a Behind the Scenes Special, the Official Trailer, Production Stills, and The Breakable Girl (a 2010 short film).

 "Crescent City" Review 
In writer/director Darren Marshall's Crescent City, a lonely writer falls in love with his best friend's fiancee and a kaleidoscope of characters deal with life, love, conflicts and more. A rather low-key slice-of-life drama shot in Louisiana, Crescent City comes from those fine folks at Robel Films (Everyone Says I Look Just Like Her).

The film's biggest strength comes courtesy of D.P. Andy Sparaco's excellent camera work that captures both the beauty of New Orleans and the on again/off again tension between two friends, one who comes off as a prick rather early on and the other whose loneliness is all consumer. While it's difficult to put together a solid film on a microcinema budget, writer/director Darren Marshall does a respectable job of making the film a quality looking and sounding film.

While the friendship between its central two young men is front and center here, Crescent City really benefits from the performances of Hayley Richelson as the fiancee in question and Mark Paci, whose performance as Billy borders on uncomfortably awkward but is also rather unforgettable.

A 2-star "C" rating may seem like a modest rating, okay it actually is a modest rating, but given the challenges of putting together a decent low-budget indie there's much to be admired about this first feature film from Darren Marshall. It doesn't always gel and the tech quality, especially in the area of sound, occasionally does distract and may prove challenging for a general audience. That said, fans of indie cinema who've become accustomed to letting go of the need for tech perfection in favor of a quality story and an up-and-coming filmmaker will see a promising young filmmaker who does quite a bit right.

Beyond the film's solid camera work, Marshall has crafted himself an involving story and, perhaps even moreso, has created compelling characters whose stories you want to see unfold. Marshall clearly understand what it means to construct a story and bring it visually to life. As he grows as a filmmaker, Darren Marshall should be exciting to watch.

Crescent City is an independent production that is being made through Createspace and the Robel Films website. You can also learn more about the production by visiting the film's website listed in the credits. The film is an official selection of New Filmmakers New York and will have its world premiere on August 8th at 9pm in New York.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic