You might think that spending nearly 75 minutes in the cramped confines of a car as it cruises around the city picking up and dropping off random folks would not make for an interesting film, but Thomas Torrey, director, writer, and star of the new movie Fare, has created something that slowly drew me in to its dark twisted embrace and would not let me go.
Torrey plays Eric, a ride-share driver whose marriage is not doing too well, and neither is his real estate business. He spends his day picking up fares around the city, trying to chat them up and make some kind of personal connection to take his mind off his own troubles. Some of his passengers like the company, but most seem to be in their own little worlds and don’t care much about their driver.
One passenger in particular, a foreign man ably played by Pat Dortch, seems to connect on an almost metaphysical level with Eric, taking him on a semi-rambling discourse that touches on many different psuedo-philosophical points (like “Love is love, feelings aside” and “Your good is your good, and my good is mine.”). Eric probes this foreigner’s statements for nuggets of meaning–his words are speaking to Eric on some level, and he seems to find renewed curiosity and energy and satisfaction.
The last passenger of Eric’s long day, Patrick (J. R. Adduci) climbs in to his car, and Eric just stares at him in the rearview mirror. The passenger doesn’t really notice. Eric starts conversing, and Patrick plays along as Eric’s questions start getting more and more personal. Just guy talk, right? Pretty soon it is revealed: this passenger is the guy who has been secretly having an affair with Eric’s wife. As the night wears on, Eric refuses to let him out of the car. Arguments, threats, accusations and more fly through the air as Eric drives the car onward. Soon, he is at his wife’s house and makes her get in the car “just to talk.” The three of them drive further and further, the lights of the city getting smaller and dimmer in the rearview mirror as the couple’s dirty laundry is hung out for everybody to see and remark upon. The road gets darker and darker until the only illumination at all is the car’s headlights.
And that’s when they see the body in the road.
There are some unbelievably tense moments of suspense in this movie. Sure, not everything works completely, and (even at a scant 75 minutes) there are some scenes that feel a little “padded.” But when it’s on, it is freaking on. Torrey makes every protracted silence, every lingering look chock full of anticipation and emotion. The dialogue is very natural, and everything progresses at a logical and appropriate pace. Torrey does an amazing job as the cuckolded (and not entirely blameless) Eric as he drives through an avalanche of emotions every few moments.
But it’s his work behind the camera (so to speak) that definitely deserves major kudos. Setting an entire movie inside a car is certainly a challenge, and making it interesting and intriguing is even more of one. He keeps his camera at unique angles, focusing on characters’ eyes and expressions as the night goes on, and we never want to look away from them. This is Thomas Torrey’s first full-length movie (he’s directed a few shorts previously) and it’s as sure a debut as any I’ve seen recently.
The ending is a bit vague and anticlimactic, but that’s a small criticism. Overall, this movie has a lot to recommend it. Take a chance, hold your breath, and let Fare take you for a wild ride. Uncle Mike sez check it out.
|Runtime:||1 hr. 15 mins.|
|Directed By:||Thomas Torrey|
|Written By:||Thomas Torrey