DONALD CRIED (2017)

Written & Directed By: Kris Avedisian 
Story By: Kris Avedisian, Jesse Wakeman & Kyle Espelata 
Cinematography By: Sam Flesichner 

Cast: Kris Avedisian, Jesse Wakeman, Louisa Krause, Ted Arcidi, Shawn Contois 
With the sudden passing of his grandmother, Peter Latang returns to his hometown and encounters his long lost, childhood friend, Donald Treebeck. What begins as a simple favor, turns into a long day’s journey into the past.


I will say that this film isn’t for everyone.

Making and distribution of this movie funded through the website, Kickstarter.

As it is very low budget and seems more like a labor of love and a kind of semi-autobiographical cal story that feels like a kind of therapy or expression of what could have been.

This is a film that will easily be overlooked, it’s worth it if you take your time to discover it.

The cartoonish appearance of one of the characters prepares you to expect one type of story but delivers another. Almost like a bait and switch.

The director stars in the film and wrote the film. His co-star in the film who plays his friend is also the co-writer of the film.

It’s a comedy of sadness that feels at home in despair. That comes off depressing to a degree. That shows how some people grow and some don’t. Who seen stuck in arrested development. To when they had their heydays and as the world matures they still seem to stay the same.

Here a character comes back to his hometown to bury his grandmother and take care of her estate and rubs into an old friend and while definitely changed he can’t seem to shake this friend and the longer he is around him find himself reverting to his old ways. Even though we are never completely told we find out so much about their past through stories and other characters. Gradually over the 24 hours they spend together. It appears both have some anger issues towards one another and in general.

The film generally stays awkward and uncomfortable throughout. With both characters not particularly likeable though whenever you want to feel sorry for them. Something happens that brings them back to being unlikable. Maybe then it is more understandable what makes them that way.

The film is very revealing with an intimacy that is not that intricate, but is affecting. As it seems like both characters are sensitive and working through issues but constantly pushing them to the side or deflecting. That makes the film feel like they are both having a one-man show. Working through the pain only more encompassing and interacting. Though Donald clearly cherished this friendship and that they were close when others recollect it seems that his friend was kind of cruel to him and used him. Which is why Donald who seems to dress more like a comedic character who looks like he belongs in NAPOLEON DYNAMITE

How hard it is to communicate feelings as a man to another man. Especially when you have grown up and grown apart. That asks what if you were only friends die to location and necessity. Seeing other characters from their Youth move on or marvel at how stuck they seem or how some have moved forward. They don’t necessarily fit into each other lives now, but always have a bond and feeling for one another. Are friends for the past entitled to you and your feelings? Are you supposed to be on their side? I matter what? The film explores how friendships can evolve like relationships. How they can be manipulative and disintegrate.

The past can be subjective. You can look at it as positive, but once confronted the truth comes to light and you realize you weren’t as good and heroic as you once thought.

It even seems to have a moment of easy temptation that seems like selling out of sorts.

The film affected me. As it might have hit too close to a nerve for me. Though the film also feels like a kind of release for the characters and the audience finally by the end.

Going back to a past you hoped would stay that way and becomes  a comedy of layers

GRADE: B