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The Independent Critic

Cindy Maples, Rusty James, and Jakob Bilinski
Cindy Maples
7 Mins.


 "Random" Packs a Powerful Punch 

A native of Pinckneyville, Illinois and now a resident of Evansville, Indiana, indie actress Cindy Maples adds writer/director to her name with the debut of her first short film, Random, a 7-minute dramatic short film centered around the seemingly random conversation between Evin (Rusty James) and Nancy (Maples), a husband and wife seemingly basking in the afterglow of a romantic anniversary date, dinner and passion.

With black-and-white lensing by Joe Atkinson and D.P. Bonnell that is almost episodically splashed with a jarring dash of color, Random is simultaneously romantic, passionate, intimate, uncomfortable and raw. Mina Fedora's evocative and meditative original music lends the film an uneasiness that never quite settles as Evin and Nancy's seemingly innocent pillow talk bounces against the music with an intensity that aches for no apparent reason.

Maples has been acting in a variety of indie shorts and features since 2009, but it's not often you've seen her like you do in Random, a role that is seemingly simple yet that simplicity gives way to vulnerability, intimacy, and a sort of deep reflection that pierces far beyond the words that you're hearing her speak. It may help, perhaps, that she's acting along her real life spouse, Rusty James, whose comfortable and laid back performance as Evin feels authentic besides Maples' Nancy.

While this is the directorial debut for Maples, it's clear evidence that Maples has a strong visual sensibility and a natural dramatic touch that allows just the right moments to linger and drift into your psyche'. There's an honesty in the dialogue that pulls you in even as you find yourself wondering "What the heck's really going on?"

For more information on Random, visit the film's production company on Facebook. Be sure to watch for it at an indie festival near you.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic