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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
P.J. Starks
Eric Sax, Lori Rosas, Timothy Scott Norris, and Chelsea Gentry
Running Time

 "A Mind Beside Itself" Review 
For Tristan (Eric Sax), love always seems to be just a bit out of reach until he meets Maya (Lori Rosas). Despite their plentiful differences, Tristan is determined to be with Maya, but as their relationship blossoms the past comes back to haunt him once again. He's faced with a not so simple choice - stay with Maya no matter the cost or take a different path and lose her forever.

A romantic dramedy with an ever so slight, and fairly obvious, psychological twist, A Mind Beside Itself is a journey through the mind that slowly reveals itself over the course of the film's nearly 18 minute run time as an involving journey within one man's fractured psyche' and his desperate clinging to hope and the prospect of love. Starring newcomer Eric Sax as Tristan, A Mind Beside Itself benefits from a solid ensemble cast that seems to be well in touch with the vision of writer/director P.J. Starks. While there's an occasional dip into melodrama here, for the most part Sax and co-lead Lori Rosas do a nice job of weaving together the film's romanticism with its darker themes, dramatic revelations and, yes, even its moments of humor. Balancing all of these things would be a challenge even in the course of a full-length feature, and while A Mind Beside Itself isn't quite spot on it is an effective, involving psychological drama that makes you want to journey deeper inside the lives of our central characters.

A Mind Beside Itself is effectively lensed by D.P. Neil Kellen and is complemented to near perfection by Jessica McFarland's moody, atmospheric original score. Filmed over the course of three days by Owensboro, Kentucky filmmaker P.J. Starks, A Mind Beside Itself will linger within your psyche' much like the past that continues to paint indelible images that continue to haunt Tristan. Just getting started on the indie film fest circuit, watch for a series of free screenings in the Owensboro area long with possible screenings in Evansville, Indiana and potentially Louisville, Kentucky. For more information on A Mind Beside Itself, visit the film's website at the link above.