There's a little bit of Mister Rogers in everyone.
Here's the thing.
There's also a little bit of Patrick Bateman in everyone, too.
Indie filmmaker Durden Godfrey is back with his latest film, the psychological thriller I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday, an equally involving and disturbing film about Robert Partridge (Tom Siedle), a seemingly normal guy with a normal wife (Traci L. Newman) and a normal kid (Camson Alevy) and a damn fine job and a damn fine home.
Well, except for Robert.
It's difficult to describe I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday without giving an awful lot away, something that I don't want to do and you wouldn't want me to do if you're lucky enough to check this flick out either at a festival near you or somewhere along its indie release journey.
While I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday has structural similarities to the standout Michael Douglas film Falling Down, to stop there would be an injustice to the film. I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday goes a little deeper, a little darker, and feels just a little more contemporary than Douglas's film (which happens to be one of my favorite films of all-time). This doesn't mean that it's a better film, just a different sort of cinematic beast than it appears to be on the surface.
Co-written by Godfrey with Taurean Royal and Jared Rush, I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday takes place over the course of a week in the life of a man who would seem like he was on the edge if he didn't actually seem simultaneously so normal.
Much of the credit for that sense of normalcy must go to lead Tom Siedle, whose embodiment of Robert Partridge avoids caricatures and radiates just enough of a sense of humanity that you never know quite how dark he's going to go even as the clock is ticking and we're working our way toward Friday. Siedle finds Robert's fractured humanity, eliciting not so much empathy or sympathy as much as our emotional investment in his journey. It's a terrific performance and it should be the kind of performance that leads to Siedle getting a few more cinematic offers thrown his way.
The rest of the ensemble cast is strong as well, especially Taurean Royal as Mister Basilicus and both Traci L. Newman, as Robert's long-suffering and stressed out wife, and Camson Alevy, a twisted ball of aching vulnerability as Robert's conflicted son Bobby.
The original music by Doctor Jones is riveting, a cacophony of dissonance and dramatic chaos that envelopes the film's performers and seems to heighten with each passing day. William Bishop's lensing immerses you in Robert's world, heck even his psyche', and leaves you feeling worn out and tossed about along the way.
Godfrey has long been known as a visual storyteller and, indeed, it's the visual storytelling elements in I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday that linger in your heart and mind most vividly. With the exception of Robert, and perhaps Bobby, most of the characters drawn rather broadly, somewhat intentionally, and on more than one occasion I found myself less concerned with the words being spoken than the images being displayed.
So be it. I was still deeply involved.
Fresh off its local premiere in Jacksonville, Florida presented by the Jacksonville Film Festival, I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday should have no problem finding both festival and indie distribution options whichever way Godfrey chooses to go. Regardless, it's a unique and involving psychological thriller and if you get a chance you should definitely check it out.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic